Gambia’s police have rounded up over two hundred tinted cars, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The owners of the vehicles were asked by police to pay certain amount of money or else they risked having the vehicles impounded. The vehicle owners were also given another option: to manually remove the tinted glass on their cars with a razor blade. The operation to seize tinted vehicles has been going on for a week now.
The residents of Serre-Kunda and its surrounding areas had woken up to their chagrin to see over two hundred tinted cars assembled along the busy West-field area—next to the mobile police. Both sides of the road were flanked by confiscated tinted cars.
The move followed a crumbling economy and infrastructure. The government of dictator Yahya Jammeh has been faced with acute cash shortages. Salaries for Civil Servants are sometimes not paid on time or some occasions delayed for weeks. The regime is now using the police and GRA to raise funds through bogus taxation of Gambians.
According to one tinted car owner, some folks were let go by the police after they allegedly handed them with bribes. “This country is economically dead. Corruption is the order of the day. I have seen car owners walking out of the station with the car keys after bribing the police. I will rather leave my car there than to pay couple of thousands of dalasi just for a tinted car,” said a man, whose car has been impounded by the police.
“Yahya Jammeh thinks that Gambians are fools. He issued us a onetime fee payment for the tinted cars, and he now wants to recharge us. This is ridiculous. He is in need of cash. Now he is harassing anyone he suspects of having cash in this country. I will relocate to Senegal. I cannot put up with such a nonsense,” he added.