By Makutu Manneh
The Gambia Transport Union told reporters on Friday 15th January, 2020 that containers coming into The Gambia through transit points are involved in illegal offloading of goods in the country.
The union made the disclosure in a press conference.
Omar Cessey, President of Gambia Transport Union, said the union has evidence that there are goods which are offloaded in the Gambia without paying the required tax to the country.
He said his team had on 13th January, 2021, found a particular transit container secretly offloading goods in a warehouse in Banjul. Mr. Cessey said the evidence was shown to the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).
“This is unfair to others involved in the same business in The Gambia as they pay all the required taxes to the country,” he said.
However, Cessey said since this matter was reported, no action has been taken against that particular company.
The head of GTU said they have informed the Ministry of Transport, Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and Inspector General of Police about the matter.
Mr. Cessey called on the Government to work in hand with them in order to regulate the transportation system in the country. He said their union wants the Government to pass the laws on this matter and to avoid such occurrences. He added that these operations will affect the economy of the country and the lives of the future generation.
Mr. Cessey said the union will not allow such dubious operations in the country and that they are ready to partner with the Government to stop such dubious activities.
Malick Ngum, Secretary to GTU, said this has been happening in the Gambia for a long time and is high time for it to be put to an end.
He said it is sad that they are the one tracing these illegal acts in the country because that is the job of the authorities. Ngum believed that 50% of transit goods are offloaded in the Gambia.
“These operations are taking our country backward,” he said.
Mr. Ngum said to their surprise, since they reported the matter; the Government has not called the union for dialogue. He added that all the people they have reported are on bail.
“Since we have given them all the evidences and the people were captured red handed, the government should set an example,” he said.