The United Democratic Party has in a statement described as alarming the recent seizure of drugs at the Keur Ayib - The Gambia-Senegal border post.
Below reads the party's full statement:
"The United Democratic Party views with alarm and despair the frequent reports of interceptions and seizures of large quantities of drugs and narcotic substances in and around The Gambia. The recent spike in number of serious crimes such as murder, rape, armed robberies, human trafficking and drug smuggling are a serious cause for concern about the effectiveness of the Gambia's national security apparatus particularly at the points of entry into the country.
UDP condemns the lackadaisical attitude of the Gambia Government in diligently investigating and prosecuting serious crimes involving narcotic substances which originate from outside the Gambia. The presence of these 'expensive' drugs in the Gambia is the result of significant security lapses at various ports of entry.
Recently more than 2 tons of cocaine was confiscated at the port of Banjul by DLEAG although the consignee of the cocaine shipment has been identified presently he is at large and considered a fugitive, no arrest or charges have been made so far. UDP appreciates the fact that investigates must be allowed to run their course unhindered at the same time we believe that periodic updates and progress reports can help to reassure the populace.
The international dimensions of the above incident and the Keur Ayib incident seriously jeopardises the national reputation of the Gambia as a peaceful tourism destination and increases the risk of Gambia being regarded as a Narco-state. Even worse making the Gambia a soft target for organised crime syndicates operating globally and using the Gambia as an entrepot into West Africa to gain onward access to the more lucrative markets of Europe and Asia.
The presence of hard drugs that are highly valued globally in the country puts a heavy burden on the law enforcement agencies in keeping the exhibits (drugs) safe and secure until lawfully disposed. At the same time there is the real risk of the drugs getting introduced into the local population and the youths are particularly vulnerable in this regard.
For these reasons the UDP urges the law enforcement agencies to be extra vigilant in the execution of their duties and to redouble their efforts investigating and apprehending all those involved in this serious threat to our National Security.
Therefore, the UDP calls on the Gambia Government to take tangible measures to urgently deal with this ominous trend towards wanton criminality in the Gambia. Furthermore, UDP urges the Gambia Government to collaborate with the sister republics of Senegal, Guinea Bissau, & Guinea Conakry to develop joint strategies to combat this regional and global threat to peace and security of our nations."
Meanwhile, the Senegalese Customs officials confirmed to the Voice Newspaper that 1.7 tons of Canabis worth 200 million CFA and 168, 000 counterfeit euros were seized Friday at Keur Ayib border with Gambia.
Accordingly, the drugs were concealed in large quantities of bags of groundnut found in two trucks supposed to go to Casamance."