The Chronicle Gambia

Seized Cocaine Kept by Police, Banta Keita Still on the Run

The Public Relations Officer of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA), Lamin Jorbateh, has informed journalists that Banta Keita is still at large.  Mr. Jorbateh made these remarks on Wednesday at a joint maiden security personnel press conference held at the Police Headquarters in Banjul. The anti-narcotics agent said that the security personnel in the country are doing everything possible to arrest Mr. Keita. “I can tell you that the drugs that were seized at the Banjul Port are still with the police and in safe hands,” PRO Jobarteh said.

The drugs were seized in January this year and weighed nearly 3 tons for a street value of about $88 million.

Mr. Keita and his suspected local accomplice, Sheriff Njie, were charged by a local court in Banjul on three counts of drug trafficking-related charges.

Last month, The Gambia issued an international arrest warrant for Banta Keita and his accomplices.

Arrests made in “Operation Zero Crime.”

Lamin Njie, The Public Relations Officer of The Gambia Police Force, informed journalists that since the inception of “Operation Zero Crime,” targets criminal hideouts in all parts of the country to minimize the crime rate. “We have a total arrest of 881 people for various crimes, and 197 individuals are being tried in court for the drug-related crime.”

PRO Njie added that the Police Anti-Crime unit also arrested 430 individuals. The KM task force arrested 102, 81 were detained in Banjul by the joint security task force, and the Police intervention unit arrested 72 from 2nd April to 16th March 2021.

Njie said the security services are very concerned about the issue of high crime rates. “We are ensuring that crimes and criminal activities are dealt with seriously.”

PRO Njie said the Police have many challenges in carrying effectively and efficiently operations.

Officer Njie mentioned issues such as the obstruction of security personnel in the course of their work and people buying stolen properties from criminals and robbers. According to the law enforcement agent, such behavior is encouraging theft and makes the work of the Police very difficult.

He said policing and tackling crimes have to do with information sharing. “We want the general public to support the operation with information as soon as it happened .” Every citizen is the Police. Njie added

Crimes Relating to Immigration

Mamanding Dibba, the Public Relations Officer of the Immigration Police, said his department laid a hand on 146 people within KM and West Coast Region.“They committed various immigration-related offenses,” he said.

PRO Dibba revealed that those arrested are Guineans and Bissau- Guinean nationals. Most of the misconducts they committed are related to obtaining Gambian documents.

Mamanding Dibba added that some of them had regularised their stay in the country while others are still being investigated. “We have generated a revenue of D177,450 from this.”


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