Tuesday, December 6

GDC warns Gambia becoming narcotics hub with rising crime rates

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“The issue of massive tons of illicit drugs or narcotics being intercepted here and there in the country as well as at some of our border posts is not just alarming; it is rather deeply disturbing considering the dangerous consequences of the presence of these drugs in our society. Recently officers of DLEAG confiscated more than 2 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $80-million US dollars (4.5 billion dalasis) at Banjul Seaport on 7th January 2021. In another development, large quantities of suspicious medicinal drugs being moved from The Gambia were intercepted and seized at the Keur Ayib, Gambia-Senegal border post.”

“It is noteworthy that narcotics of the manner of those gaining entry into the country are capable of engineering violence in our society at an unprecedented rate and, not the least, fostering the breeding of criminal groups, insurgents and terrorists along with the devastating consequences they have on the health and security sectors as has been experienced by some of our sister nations.”

“We may not be able to appreciate the social and economic impact as well as the attendant human costs the presence of these drugs in our midst is having on the country’s economy. Basically, all the money earned from criminal activities such as drug-trafficking has to be laundered. Once the money-laundering channels are created, it is inevitable that they will be used to conceal the gains obtained from all kinds of criminal activities in the future. These economic and financial consequences of the drug trade make any possible economic benefits for the community, other than those the narcotic trade itself may bring, harder to see.” 

“Another very worrying scenario is the stunning growth in violent crimes and lawlessness in the country. The 2020 annual report produced by the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) in conjunction with the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Banjul assessed The Gambia as being a HIGH-threat location for crime.  But, what is more troubling is that, since 2020, the growing wave of serious crimes; murder, armed robberies, human trafficking and drug smuggling in the country has grown astronomically far above the rate identified last year. This provokes a serious cause for concern, especially in the effectiveness of the political will of the government in power to combat crimes and insecurity in the land.”

“In April and May 2021, there were countless cases of robbery with arms in various locations of the country and it is almost becoming a norm. A few days ago, a burglar invaded a home in broad daylight at 7:30 am. In addition, another armed robber operation was carried out at Kololi in broad daylight too. Murder has also become rife. Last April, a grade 12 female student Marie Mendy was gruesomely murdered. In another development, the Gambian Police Force is investigating a case of the suspected murder on 11th May 2021 of one Marang Jaw of Mandinaring Village in West Coast Region.”

“The rate of crime in the New Gambia is scary,” the party states, adding the situation calls for an awakening of the required political will to track the root of these crimes.