News24

Gambia journalist arrested for visa fraud

2013-02-14 19:51

Banjul - A Gambian journalist arrested last week is accused of using his position as deputy editor of the pro-government Daily Observer to run a visa and asylum fraud scheme, security sources said on Thursday.

Alagie Jobe, who was arrested last Friday by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), is accused of "writing letters on Daily Observer letterhead for Gambian asylum seekers abroad and those within the country applying for visas in return for huge sums of money," a security source said.

Another Daily Observer journalist arrested on Monday in the same case, news editor Assan Sallah, was released on Wednesday on bail without being charged, he said.

Sallah would not elaborate on his arrest or the case against him.

"Assan was released last night and he is to report to the NIA daily," a colleague told AFP Thursday.

The arrests came barely a month after the newspaper's managing director was sacked and reportedly fled to neighbouring Senegal for fear of being arrested on allegations of financial malpractice.

Five other senior staff at the paper are currently on bail after being arrested.

A sliver of land nestled within Senegal with a narrow strip of Atlantic coast, Gambia is ruled with an iron fist by President Yahya Jammeh, who is often accused of muzzling journalists, among other rights abuses.