By Ndey Sowe
Drug Law Enforcement Agency the Gambia (DLEAG) has confirmed that the Senegalese Navy Supported by the Spanish Guardia Civil in the high seas seized 750kg of cocaine.
The DLEA also stated that the Maritime Analysis Operation Center (MAOC) based in Portugal coordinated the operation.
The agency also participated in the operation through the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States of America (DEA), by conducting surveillance on the boat, which was said to dock at one time at the shore of Lamin Lodge for several days.
Ousman Saidybah the Spokesperson of the DLEAG told this reporter that the boat later left to meet with a mother boat in the high seas and transshipment took place.
“Following the seizure, international coordination and exchange of intelligence continued leading to the seizure of a boat believed to be the mother boat that transfers the drugs into the other boat,” Mr. Saidybah underscored.
He added that the captain of the suspected boat and one crew member are currently helping in the investigation. “A Dutch national believed to be the organizer of the consignment was in The Gambia earlier for a few days and then left”, the spokesperson explained.
He expressed the belief that there are two individuals, a captain and crew member who are actually in custody being questioned for suspicion of being connected to that said matter.
“The boat was searched and nothing was found here (in the Gambia),” he said. He added that the 750kg of cocaine which is seized by the Senegalese Navy is under the custody of the arresting authorities, as well as the people suspected to be connected with the matter.
While noting that the Transnational Organised Crime is promoting and advocating for criminals not to see a boundary in their criminal activities, he said there is a need for Law Enforcement agencies to coordinate among themselves in order to look at the network and connection.
He made it clear that the seizure did not take place in the Gambia, adding that the Gambia is just helping to coordinate the investigation. “Whatever information that we get from these people will be shared with our partners, and it could help in either extradition or prosecution of those who are found wanting.” The DLEAG spokesperson remarked.
“This is an investigation that is transnational in nature”, Mr. Bah said.