News24

Gambia's ex-drugs tsar jailed for dealing

2012-05-16 22:49

Banjul - A Gambian court on Wednesday sentenced the country's former anti-drug chief and his deputy to eight years in jail for drug trafficking and a host of other related charges.

Ibrahim Bun Sunneh, former head of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, and his deputy Karamo Bojang, were found guilty by a special criminal court on five of 30 charges against them.

They were accused of selling unspecified amounts of cocaine and also destroying stashes of the drug that were due to be used as evidence in another case.

Gambia, like neighbouring narcotics hub Guinea-Bissau, has become one of the west African nations being used to traffic Latin American cocaine to Europe.

In June 2010 over two tons of cocaine were found hidden in a fishing village outside of Banjul, capital of the smallest nation on the African mainland.

Sanneh and Bojang were picked up in a wave of arrests in 2010 of leading officials including the former police, army and intelligence chiefs and top military officers, all now serving jail terms on treason and robbery related charges.

The army and intelligence chiefs were among eight sentenced to death for treason.

President Yahya Jammeh rules the country nestled inside Senegal with an iron fist and regularly reshuffles his cabinet and moves around his allies in what observers say is a bid to prevent a rival power base from forming.

Rights bodies regularly denounce a climate of fear in the country, accusing Jammeh's regime of muzzling journalists, arbitrary arrests and other abuses.