The Adama Barrow government, has been accused of condoning and benefiting from the illegal collection of stolen monies from Gamtel’s international gateway, through the exorbitant international call termination fees imposed on callers by greedy phone carriers, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Over ten million United States dollars is usually accrued from the illegal practice monthly. The money goes into the pockets of corrupt Gamtel officials, government officials, private network carriers, and gateway hackers.
When Adama Barrow assumed the presidency, his Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh, summoned a press conference claiming that he has uncovered a smoking gun at Gamtel, the nation’s main telecommunication company. Mr. Sanneh used the news conference to indict dictator Jammeh and his cronies for having milked millions of dollars from the Gamtel gateway, through the exorbitant fees imposed on international callers—with the help of some phony phone card companies. Thanks to Amadou Sanneh, Gambians were told that a special bank account was opened at the Central Bank by Jammeh to run the Gamtel scam.
One hundred days into Barrow’s presidency, the same Gamtel international call termination fee scam is ongoing. The Barrow government has been accused of accepting millions of dollars derived from the very scam that they earlier claimed was happening under Jammeh’s watch. This is a regime of contradictions. They are allegedly repeating the same corrupt practices that they accused Jammeh of.
Gambia is one of the most expensive countries to call on earth today. It will cost you nothing less than 69 cents per minute to call the Gambia, when other West African countries call rates are much cheaper. The Gamtel scam is said to be a lucrative venture. It is enriching many officials in Banjul, including some private carriers.
Reports have it that the current Gamtel MD Mr. Sidebeh, was privy to the scam prior to taking over from his predecessor Baboucarr Sanyang, who is now in jail. The Gamel officials were working with Jammeh, Bazzi, and co to exploit the Gamtel gateway.
“This government is a joke. Former Jammeh enablers are running the system. Mr. Sidebeh, was privy to the illegal call terminations. He is complicit to the scam just like Baboucarr Sanyang. No wonder that is why the same corruption remains unabated at Gamtel. Adama Barrow is a fool. How can you fight corruption, when the very people, who aided and abetted Jammeh to wreck this country economically, are still in the system? It is okay to send Baboucarr Sanyang to jail and yet leave his Deputy Sidebeh? I think Barrow and his team are out to enrich themselves. They have no interested in stopping the rip-off going on at Gamtel at this hour. They have started receiving money from Gamtel,” said our source.
“Gamtel’s gateway has been outsourced to a third-party company. The gateway is being managed by another company. The Barrow government is yet to severe ties with the said company. International callers are being exploited by these corrupt phone carriers. There is no indication to suggest that the Barrow government will stop the exploitation of callers. Fees are being jacked up in the name of enriching carriers at the expense of callers,” said a Gamtel insider.
Attempts to reach the management of Gamtel without success.