DLEA to Wrap-up Investigations into Tons of Cocaine Intercepted at Banjul Seaport


By Mustapha Jallow

Lamin J. Gassama, Director of Intelligence and International Cooperation at the Drug Law Enforcement Agency Gambia (DLEAG) on Monday told Foroyaa that they will soon finish the investigations into the nearly 3 tons of cocaine discovered at the Banjul seaport.

DLEAG’s intelligence director made this statement on 3rd May 2021, while talking to Foroyaa. He confirmed the re-arrest of Sheriff Njie (suspect) who was discharged by a magistrates’ court in Banjul after prosecutors applied for the court to transfer the matter to the high court.

The 2nd accused person (Njie) was discharged on 7the April by a subordinate court after the case was struck out. But he was subsequently picked-up by DLEAG officers and since then, the public is left wondering when the State intends to proceed with the prosecution of the case.

But Gasama said they are working hard to ensure they wrap-up soon so that they will send the case file to the justice department for legal advice on the matter. He added that both Banka Keita and Njie will be indicted at the high court.

Asked whether Banka and Sheriff were the only suspects in the drug case, Gasama replied: “Allow the investigations to finish. I don’t want to talk about 2, 5 or 10 people are involved because at this stage it might prejudice our investigations.’’

“I can assure you we are very much diligent over this matter. We will wrap-up soon,’’ said Gassama.

It could be recalled that DLEAG officers searched a container in the seaport of Banjul on 7th January and found 118 bags of illegal white powder, labelled as industrial salt. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $8 million US dollars (4.5 billion dalasis).

The drug agency described the catch as the country’s largest ever seizure in ‘history.’

Sheriff was since arrested, but the 37-year-old French national named Banta Keita, the alleged consignment owner, is still at large and is currently being hunted by local law enforcement agents.

The containers originated from Ecuador in South-America.

However, experts suggested that drug-related crimes are something that the Drug Law Enforcement Agency takes seriously because the drugs can lead to addiction, illness, killing, robbery, death and other forms of crimes.