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DLEAG Officials Are Doing A Fantastic Job, But They Should Exercise Discretion Not To Humiliate Decent People

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Our country might be ravaged with drugs smugglers, peddlers, pushers or transistors, but not every Gambian is dealing with drugs or part of the drug cartels using our country as a transit point, The work of the Drug Enforcement is commendable how ever treating every individual traveling at our borders as a suspect and subjecting everyone to intrusive searches could be embarrassment and counterproductive.

A friend of mine was badly handled at the Jiboro border by drug officials looking for illicit substances. His car was turned upside down following a humiliating search in front of his business partner while on a trip to buy cashew nuts in Bissau.

Another person complaint to me of being subjected to unnecessary harassment while travelling to the Senegalese border with prominent Muslim scholars including a former diplomat to attend a Gamo.

These officials should know that the real trafficking of illicit drugs is happening at our ports, the airport, and the Atlantic ocean. Recently, the Senegalese Navy caught a massive drug haul in a vessel at sea. The vessel left  our shores undetected and it is reported that three or four Gambians were involved..

 It is true that our country is quickly becoming a drug hub for powerful cartels around the world and there is now a variety of expensive drugs being peddled in town, but that does not mean treating indiscriminately everybody using our borders as drug dealers. This is unacceptable, it is necessary for DLEAG officials to exercise discretion in their good work for the country…

A Concerned Gambian

DELAG REACTS

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The Drug Law Enforcement Agency, of The Gambia (DELAG) has clarified that no hostile search of any form was conducted in Jiboro by its men contrary to what one concerned citizen has reported on Freedom Newspaper’s Saturday edition. An official of the nation’s antinarcotic agency further pointed out that all searches conducted by DELAG officers are done professionally without degrading any of the people they processed along the border.

The DELAG official says Jiboro is one of the most important areas that they closely monitor for drug trafficking related crime among others. He dismissed the concerned citizen’s claims that his friend was harassed along the border.

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There was no such thing. In terms of Jiboro particularly as expressed by the guy, I oversee Jiboro, but we know the local consumption market of drugs, all the cocaine that is consume locally are sourced from Bissau, it is not from South America.  This is why we are very concern about that route, people coming from Bissau, we have to pay attention to them.  And this not just a random thing.  It is a routine check,” the DELAG official clarified.

He added that many a time some Gambians wouldn’t want to be stopped and subjected to searches. He says his agency cannot take chance or be complacent in its work.

“ I will tell you Pa, if you go to the Jiboro post, our officers, because of our robust search regime, we seized lot of things that are Customs duty related, people try to smuggle alcohol, we seize it and we refer it to Customs, people try to go with stolen properties, we seize it and we refer it to the police, so, we seized weapons in that place and we give it to the police, so, our search Jiboro is very effective to the extent that about two, three years ago, there is this cartel that we see in Guinea Bissau, that one used Gambia as a route to go to Europe. Within a period of one month or two months, we seized about three kilos from three different people, and all linked to the same group.  So, since then they leave Banjul,” the top antinarcotic official remarked.

The DELAG official has also expressed concern about  The Gambia drug related fake news trafficked on social media by one Ben Suwareh of the United Kingdom. The official says Suwareh has been using his Facebook timeline to spread fake news just to make his country look bad in the eyes of the world.

“Some of these people, we realized that they are being influenced by somebody who is carrying lot of misleading of drugs situation in The Gambia.  I don’t know what the person’s interest in these fake stories that he is trafficking; I think he lives in England or somewhere. I am not his friend on Facebook, but I understand he carries a lot of misleading information; because the last time, he carried a video of a flight that was said to have departed Banjul and he said drug was seized from this flight from England.  People are naïve, they just don’t pay attention to details. When you check, you will realize that, that flight is not flight from Banjul, you don’t have a company like that flying from Banjul. Number two, you will realize that he said the seizure was done by the Customs officers from the UK and UK for a very longtime did not have a Customs, they have the border post,” the DELAG official clarified.

“Notwithstanding, I proceeded to cross check with my partners in UK and they confirmed that that video was 2008, it way down in 2008. So, this person mysteriously carried that now to say is this drugs that are seized in Banjul, they are carried to Europe and the UK seized it,” he said, adding that Ben Suwareh has slanting drug related stories that post on his Facebook timeline for propaganda purposes. He referenced another fake story that was reported by Suwareh regarding a drug consignment that departed from Denton bridge, Banjul and was seized by the Senegalese security agents. The official says the drug seizure in question never emanated from The Gambia. He added that Gambia’s antinarcotic officers part of the team that have been constituted by the Senegalese authorities to investigate drug burst.

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