By Amadou Manjang
Commissioner Sulayman Kujabi of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) has lamented that the lack of anti-smuggling legislation is hampering the work of Gambia Immigration Department (GID) to prosecute migrant smugglers.
Commissioner for Kanifing Municipality Immigration Department Kujabi said the absence of an anti-smuggling law is preventing them from punishing smugglers as a means of deterrence to others.
He said the country is still using the Immigration Act of 1965 which does not address some of the current realities that the country is faced with.
The Gambia Immigration Act of 1965 is the primary law governing the immigration department since The Gambia attained independence the same year. The legislation was reviewed on September 8, 2023, but it is yet to become law.
Kujabi said they are currently using the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP) Act or the Gambia Criminal Code to prosecute migrant smugglers.
“The penalties we get from them are too minimal. There should be a strict law because if we do not have laws it will be difficult to prosecute the smugglers to set examples,” he said.
He said they have already developed a bill on anti-migrant smuggling, but the bill is now lingering between the Ministry of Interior and the Parliament.
‘We have done what we should do. We are not politicians so we cannot do much at this stage. The Ministry of Interior should pick the bill and take it to the National Assembly,’ he said.