The Gambian Mission at the United Nations has been implicated in a major visa theft scandal. Over thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) dollars visa fees collected from applicants have been stolen. Staffers of the Mission have been blamed for the alleged theft, per an audit report issued by The Gambian government. “From the Management responses referred to 5.1.1, we noted that Mr. Faati tries to grossly mislead subsequent reader of the audit by deceptively attempting to understate the dollar equivalent of revenue losses that were attributed to Mrs. Della King, (A Fijian National) working as Personal Assistant to The Gambia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations by stating that $ 28, 166.25 (Twenty Eight Thousand, One Hundred And Sixty Six And Twenty Five Cents) which equates exchange rate D12.1 for $1,” said the audit report.
The audit report portrayed Faati as a “dishonest” public officer, who was bent on misleading the government. “ The audit team is quite sure that the Accountant General and the Permanent Secretary General Finance will be very glad to know that Faati would accept $1 dollar for D12 for his salary and allowances as oppose to current rate of D48 to D49 dalasis that the Central Bank pays to buy every single dollar to pay him and his colleagues monthly salaries of about $3,000 dollars Three Thousand Dollars) on average,” the audit report lamented.
The Audit report also accused Faati and co of hoarding government revenue generated from visa fees. It says the “prolonged safekeeping and custody of government revenue” by Faati and co shows their lack of respect for Gambian taxpayers funding for the operations of The Gambian Mission in New York. Faati and his team have also been accused of not respecting the laws governing revenue collections; lack of understanding of time value of money; and good financial management knowledge.
“We recommend that the Head of Mission, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Accountant General should investigate the unaccounted revenue immediately and take necessary disciplinary actions as prescribed in the Financial Regulations. We recommend that all unaccounted revenue be fully recovered and be paid immediately into the mission’s revenue bank account,” the report stated.
Auditors also called on The Gambian Mission in New York to cease and desist from providing Consular Services to the public. They contend that Consular Services are not within the purview of the mission. Auditors also said the Mission risked violating UN rules, if it continues to issue visas to the public.
“As the Mission acknowledges that it is not in their mandate to provide Consular Services and could have legal implication if noticed by the UN. We recommend that such services be directed to The Gambian Embassy in Washington. We recommend that the private Secretary be relive from revenue collection with immediate effect,” Auditors said.
Below is an email we received from a source close to The Gambian Mission in New York. The views expressed by the author do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your attention.
I am providing you below some serious information. I trust your professionalism
This is what happened:
A Fiji national named Makayla D King and called Della has been serving as Secretary at The Gambia Mission at the U.N. A lot of Gambians know her and her condescending attitude to Gambians. She has very close relations with Tangara. In fact, Susan Waffa-Ogoo fired Della, when she was the Permanent Representative. However, Tangara re-hired Della when he returned to the Mission as a Permanent Rep. A lot of Gambians who have worked at the Mission have had problems or have been sacked or transferred from the Mission when they tried to protect Gambian interests. A lot of auditing reports have revealed Della’s alleged embezzlement of the revenues generated from the processing of visa applications at the mission. However, no one could fire her because she has been benefiting from strong support from Tangara.
The latest auditing of the visa revenues at the Mission has revealed Della has at least xxx $ 28,166.25. The alleged theft was easier to detect because the visa cards were improved through serial numbers and holograms.
Despite the theft and the recommendation of auditors to fire Della, she is still in place and she even benefits from the support of Faati and Tangara.
The Secretary should have been charged in the U.S as recommended or at least fired. She has xxxx more than hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few years. The improvement in the visa system slowed her down, but she has been embezzling Gambian money for years
Pa, this is an insult to all Gambians. Please, report on the issue. Thank you for all you do for the Gambia.
Editors note: The Gambian Mission in New York could not be reached for comment during the weekend.