By Mustapha Jarju
Five suspects have been remanded in custody as the police opened investigations into the AL Group for allegedly defrauding Gambians of over D1m.
The AL Group came on the radar of the police recently when it detected that individuals were receiving payments from the group in a manner that the police felt was unreasonable.
“As a policing institution, when we got information that people get paid, for example, if you pay D1,000 you come and get D1,500. That is not very reasonable. We deployed some of our officers, who went to the client of that business and then, we found out that there are fraudulent activities taking place,” the deputy Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Gambia Police Force (GPF), Cadet ASP Muhammed Darboe, told journalists in a press conference on Friday.
He revealed that AL Group was registered in The Gambia as an online marketing entity as well as to engage in other legitimate business ventures.
The police said the group’s country representatives, five of them currently in detention, had no connection with the original owners.
The reps. have been suspected of facilitating AL Group’s alleged scamming of customers within and outside the country.
“What the scammers do is that they would have to employ certain people to pay cash to them whereby the owners of the company wouldn’t be physically present in The Gambia to run the affairs of the business,” ASP Darboe explained.
According to him, the police have established as untrue AL Group’s claim that it was working with Ali Baba, Amazon, and other global brands.
“The police investigations also found out that these scammersare the very ones controlling the online platform,” Darboestated.
He pointed out that this kind of business is unsustainable in The Gambia as scammers will disappear if they can’t raise huge sums of money or the intended amount of cash.
“This is not the first time such has happened in The Gambia,” he added.