6 October 2010

Gambia: Death Sentence for Drug Dealers As Assembly Amends Drug Control Bill

Photo: Francois Gouahinga/allAfrica.com
Border crossing: In June, a record two-tonne stash of cocaine was found in the Gambia (file photo).

Deputies at the National Assembly on Monday unanimously amended Sections 43 and 94 of the Principal Act of the Drug Control (Amendment Bill) to make provisions and into law, the sentencing of any person who is found in possession of more than 250 grams of cocaine or heroine to death.

There were insertions made to that effect in Section 43 of the Principal Act which states that 'a person who is found in possession of more than 250g of cocaine or heroine commits the offence of possession for the purpose of drug trafficking and shall on conviction be sentenced to death'. The bill was tabled before members by Edward Anthony Gomez, the Attorney General and minister of Justice and was supported by both sides of the National Assembly.

He told deputies that the bill among other things, seeks to nip the negative development related to drug trafficking in the bud by providing for sentences which will serve as deterrent to anyone wishing to use The Gambia either as a transit or destination point for hard drugs. He said the menace of drug trafficking and the activities of major drug lords have started to rear their ugly heads in The Gambia in recent times. "The devastating impact of these activities on the stability and development of any state cannot be over-emphasised," he added.

Speaker after speaker voiced support for the bill, with many of them dwelling on the harm drugs and its' related substances cause to humans and the society. They also stated that drugs could lead to a rise in crime in the country.

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