By Nelson Manneh
The Secretary-General and Party Leader of the United Democratic Party Ousainu ANM Darboe has on Monday 11th January 2021 issued a press statement on the drug bust at the Gambia Ports Authority.
The statement indicated that the United Democratic Party receives the news of a major drug bust by agents of NDEA at the Gambia Ports Authority with shock and alarm because of the reputational damage this will cause to the nation’s international image and brand.
“UDP has learned that it is the largest drug seizure in our nation’s history, reportedly over 2 tons of cocaine with a street value of over US$88 million. Although the consignee of the shipment has been named by journalists, this has not been officially confirmed by the Gambia Police Force,” the press release stated.
Unfortunately, the press release states that this is not the first time that the Gambian Port is used for smuggling drugs by international criminal cartels.
“This is extremely concerning to the UDP because it makes the Gambia vulnerable to infiltration by international organized crime groups, seeing how weak the Gambia’s security infrastructure is at the ports of entry, to target the Gambia as a weak link in the global efforts to combat transboundary criminal enterprises that rely on their vast criminal networks that are active in money laundering and terrorist financing,” the press release stated.
Therefore UDP urgently calls on the Gambia Government to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into this matter and to urgently review the security protocols at Gambia Ports Authority in respect of all shipments bound for Banjul.