Three Tons of Cocaine Shipment: Largest Seizure Ever Made In Gambia
In a bust that led to the seizure of drugs weighing nearly three tons, the Gambian drug enforcement agency made what could be considered the largest drug seizure ever made by authorities in the country. More than two tons of cocaine were discovered and seized at the seaport in Banjul, Gambia. According to authorities, the entire shipment that was headed for Europe has an estimated street value of more than $87 million.
According to reports by the Gambian Drug Enforcement Administration (DLEAG), they had discovered and seized a shipment of one hundred and eighteen bags of cocaine in various containers that landed at the Banjul seaport. Documents attached to the shipment indicated that the contents were declared as 1,000 bags of salt for each of the containers.
The drug authorities of Gambia also reported that drug traffickers were shipping larger sizes of cocaine in fewer containers because their activities were affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Finding such drugs in the Gambia is not a strange occurrence though, and according to Gambian authorities, West Africa serves as a transshipment point used by cocaine smugglers trafficking from South America to Europe. They added that they did not yet know the final destination of the shipment, but that they believed the drugs were not intended for Gambians.
According to a spokesman for the Gambian Drug Enforcement Administration, Ousman Saidybah, the seizure serves as a confirmation that the Gambia and other West African countries are storage and transport routes for cocaine by international criminals.
All four containers had been carefully moved across countries before landing at the Banjul seaport on December 27, 2020. A search that began on January 4, 2021, led authorities to discover salt in one of the containers and one hundred and eighteen bags of cocaine in the rest.
Initial investigations by authorities have revealed that the containers belong to a Gambian resident that holds a French passport. They have launched a manhunt to capture the suspect. Meanwhile, they have arrested the second Gambian that was listed as a consignee for the shipment, and he has been assisting the ongoing investigation.