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 Gambia seizes 3 tonnes of cocaine
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Momodou



Denmark
9988 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2021 :  22:37:13  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gambia seizes 3 tonnes of cocaine in one of West Africa's largest busts
Reuters Staff


BANJUL (Reuters) - Gambian authorities seized nearly three tonnes of cocaine from a shipment of industrial salt originating in Ecuador, a spokesman said on Friday, in one of the largest ever busts in West Africa.

The 118 bags of cocaine were discovered on Thursday during a search of a container shipped from the port of Guayaquil in Ecuador and through Algeciras in Spain, said Ousman Saidybah, a spokesman for Gambia’s drug enforcement agency.

It was not clear where the cocaine was ultimately headed. Drug smugglers generally use West Africa as a transshipment point for cocaine en route from South America to Europe, and Saidybah said the drugs were not intended for local consumption.

“This seizure is yet another confirmation that the Gambia, like other West African states, continues to be a storage and transit route for cocaine by international organised criminal groups,” he told reporters.

Record quantities of cocaine were seized in West Africa in 2019, including 9.5 tonnes from a ship that docked in Cape Verde.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the illegal narcotics trade but drug kingpins have responded by packing larger loads of cocaine into the fewer container ships and commercial airplanes in circulation, officials say.

Saidybah said initial findings suggested that the container holding the cocaine belonged to a Gambian resident with a French passport, who is being sought by the police.

Reporting by Pap Saine; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Gareth Jones

Source: Reuters

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

Momodou



Denmark
9988 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  14:46:29  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
PUBLIC OUTRAGE AT MASSIVE DRUG SEIZURE IN BANJUL
Standard: JANUARY 11, 2021

By Mafugi Ceesay & Olimatou Coker


https://standard.gm/public-outrage-at-massive-drug-seizure-in-banjul/

Gambians were alarmed, shocked and outraged Friday when drug law officials seized a massive quantity of cocaine hidden in a container sent to one Sheriff Njie.


The container is among four others containing bags of salt said to belong to one Banta Keita, who was declared wanted after the arrest of Sheriff Njie.

The drugs, weighing about 3 tons, have a street value of D4.5 billion. They were discovered in 118 bags in a container labeled SUDU7531754 which is part of a consignment of four containers originating from Ecuador. The containers are said to be containing 1000 bags of industrial salt each.

According to NDLEA spokesman Ousman Saidybah, three of the containers (SUDU 753 1754, TLLU 2135 228 & TCLU 250 5880) originated from Ecuador) and transported by Maersk Line Shipping company, and was transshipped at the port of Algeciras in Spain before proceeding to Banjul, arriving here 01 January 2021.

Mr Saidybah said the fourth container (TGCU 212 7190) also originated from Ecuador transported by MSC, and was transshipped at Antwerp, Belgium, then Las Palmas, Spain and finally arriving at the Banjul port on 27 December 2020.

He pointed out that all the four containers were shipped by ECU WORLDWIDE ECUADOR SA and consigned to BOLLORE TRANSPORT and LOGISTICS as their local partner. However, an in-house bill of lading was issued by ECU WORLDWIDE to the actual consignee (CIRCUIT LONG TRADING CLT (Ltd) with Mr Sherif Njie as the contact person.

He revealed that on Monday 4 January 2020, physical search was conducted on container number TGCU 212 7190 but was found to be containing only salt. The search continued on Thursday, 7 January 2021 on the remaining three containers, resulting in the discovery of one hundred and eighteen (118) bags containing cocaine in container number SUDU7531754.

He said initial findings suggested that the containers belong to one BANTA KEITA, holder of a French passport #17CE91360. According to the passport biodata, he was born on 3rd January 1984. He is a resident of Fajara M Section, Kanifing Municipality.

Sheriff Njie was immediately taken in custody while a hunt for Banta Keita was launched.

“This seizure is yet another confirmation that The Gambia like other West African states continue to be storage and transit route for cocaine by international organized criminal groups. Certainly, these drugs are not destined for The Gambia, thus not for local consumption,” Mr Saidybah said.

Meanwhile the discovery has attracted comments from Gambians from all walks of life, including political parties which have called for a thorough investigation into the matter.

The United Democratic Party issued the following statement:

“The United Democratic Party receives the news of a major drug burst by the agents of NDEA at the Gambia Ports Authority with shock and alarm because of the reputational damage this will cause to the nation’s international image and brand.

UDP has learned that it is the largest drug seizure in our nation’s history, reportedly over 2 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of over US$88 million.

Although the consignee of the shipment has been named by journalists, this has not been officially confirmed by the Gambia Police Force.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Gambian Port is used for smuggling drugs by international criminal cartels.

This is extremely concerning to the UDP because it makes the Gambia vulnerable to infiltration by international organised crime groups, seeing how weak the Gambia’s security infrastructure is at the ports of entry, to target the Gambia as a weak link in the global efforts to combat transboundary criminal enterprises that rely on their vast criminal networks that are active in money laundering and terrorists financing.

Therefore the UDP urgently calls on the Gambia Government to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into this matter and to urgently review the security protocols at Gambia Ports Authority in respect of all shipments bound for Banjul.”

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
9988 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  14:50:22  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gambia seizes nearly 3 tonnes of cocaine worth $88m
The Point: Jan 11, 2021
By: Momodou Jawo

https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/gambia-seizes-nearly-3-tonnes-of-cocaine-worth-88m

Operatives of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) on Thursday seized nearly three tonnes of cocaine from a shipment of industrial salt originating from Ecuador, amounting to over $88 million. It’s reported to be the biggest ever cocaine seizure in the country by the narcotic agency.
The 118 bags weighed a gross 2tonnes, 952kg, and 850g. The cocaine was discovered on Thursday during a search of a container shipped from the port of Guayaquil in Ecuador and through Algeciras in Spain, and then to the country.

Meanwhile, the principal suspect has been identified as one Banta Keita, a French-Gambian anda resident of Fajara M. Section, in the Kanifing Municipality. He is currently on the run as security personnel continue on their manhunt.

An insider from the narcotic agency said the cocaine worth US$88, 560, 000 is equivalent to GMD4, 516, 560, 000. Sheriff Njie, the contact person of the principal suspect has been taken into custody as investigation into the matter continues.

It could be recalled that the second largest cocaine to be seized in the country was in 2010 after the narcotic agency seized over two tonnes of cocaine at Bonto village of the West Coast Region (WCR).

DLEAG personnel on Monday 4 January 2020 conducted a physical search on the container number: Tgcu 212 7190 but was found to be containing only salt. The search continued on Thursday, 7 January 2021 on the remaining three containers, resulting in the discovery of the cocaine in container number Sudu 7531754.

The drugs, which were found in shipping containers, originated from Ecuador and transhipped at Antwerp, Belgium then Las Palmas, Spain and finally arrived at the Banjul port on the 27 December.

Ousman Saidybah, the spokesperson of the agency confirmed: “Operatives of DLEAG on Thursday 7 January 2021 seized one hundred and eighteen (118) bags found to be containing cocaine. The bags are labelled “Sal Industrial.”

PRO Saidybah explained: “The drugs were seized from container number “Sudu 7531754” which is part of a consignment of four containers originating from Ecuador. The containers are said to be containing 1000 bags of industrial salt each."

According to him, three of the containers (Sudu 753 1754, TLLU 2135 228& TCLU 250 5880) originated from Guayaquil port in Ecuador and transported by Maersk Line Shipping Company. “They were transhipped at the port of Algeciras in Spain before proceeding to Banjul, of which they arrived in the country on 1 January 2021."

“The fourth container (TGCU 212 7190) also originated from Guyaquil port Ecuador transported by MSC. It was transhipped at Amtwerp, Belgium, then Las Palmas, Spain and finally arrived at the Banjul ports on 27 December 2020.”

“The entire four containers were shipped by ‘Ecu Worldwide Ecuador Sa’ and consigned to Bollore Transport and Logistics as their local partner. However, Ecu Worldwide issued an in-house Bill of Lading to the actual consignee (Circuit Long Trading CLT (Ltd) with Mr Sheriff Njie as the contact person."

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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