Detainee dies in custody


By Mustapha Jallow

The spokesperson of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency has on Wednesday told Foroyaa that a Bissau Guinean who was detained over drug trafficking, has committed suicide after hanging himself in the toilet of his cell on late evening of 21st April 2020.

He said: “The officers on duty, during routine check on detainees, found him hanging dead on the cell toilet door with his trouser used as a rope.”

According to DLEA PRO Saidybah, the matter was immediately reported to The Gambia Police Force and a team of Crime Scene Investigators were dispatched to conduct the necessary procedures.

Thereafter, he added “the body was evacuated to Sukuta Health Centre and eventually to EFSTH.”

The matter is currently being investigated by The Gambia Police Force.

Giving details of the man, he explained the Bissau Guinean National (JanuarIO Wonde Beducande Findan) was arrested on the 26th January 2020 at Giboro Border Post with 12 pellets of cocaine.

“The seized substance weighed 116g 800 mg,” he said.

He explained, “The matter was referred to the Sensitive Investigation Unit (SIU) for further investigation.”

Upon completion of the investigation, he said, the suspect was charged for being in possession of prohibited drug for the purpose of drug trafficking.

“He was arraigned at the Brikama Magistrate court on the 17th February 2020,” stated DLEA Spokesperson.

However, he continued: “the case could not proceed due to lack of creole language interpreter.”

In the same vein, he explained the man appeared before the same court on the 26th February and 2nd March 2020 respectively.

“The case could not proceed on both occasions due to lack of an interpreter,” he said.

Subsequently, he said the case proceeded on his fourth appearance on the 24th March 2020 and he was remanded to mile II central prison, but the prison authority declined to admit him because the escorts arrived with him after 18:00 hours GMT.

“As per procedure and operational standards, admission was closed for the day,” he further said.

The following day, 25th March 2020, he continued the man was taken again to mile II and was admitted. However, the next day being the 26th March 2020, instructions were given for him to be returned into DLEAG Custody due to COVID 19 outbreak.

He said: “Thus his detention at the SIU since then. Official correspondence was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the notification of the Bissau Embassy in the Gambia on the 26th March 2020.”