The Gambian police have impounded a large catchment of arms and ammunition. A container filled with arms were intercepted at the ports of Banjul. Police say the arms belongs to a private Gambian security company. The office of the Inspector General of police say GATCH SECURITY LIMITED applied for Gun Importation License in accordance with the Arms and ammunitions Act to enable them import single barrel rifles for hunting and recreational purposes in The Gambia. Over one thousand guns were imported into the country. It was discovered that 38 of the guns were not the type authorized for importation as indicated on the packing list, police said. The company is owned by businessman Abubacarr Jawara. Jawara is a brother to The Gambian Consul in Angola Hajji Jawara. He was recently granted license by The Gambian government to mine sand and operate a tomato paste factory in the country.
Many Gambians interviewed by the Freedom Newspaper have doubted the police’s side of the story. They believed that there is more to the Jawara arms story than what they called “the flimsy and bogus explanation” given by the police.
Jawara is the first Gambian businessman ever to be granted an armed security license. He is very close to the Barrow State House. Barrow visited Congo when he was newly elected into office. He traveled unannounced and was accompanied by non cabinet officials of his government.
Jawara wanted to be granted sand mining license during Jammeh’s rule but was unsuccessful. He was very close to the exiled Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh.
Below is the police press release.
The Office of the Inspector General of Police wishes to inform the general public that GACH SECURITY LIMITED situated at Fatou’s Gold Plaza, Bertil Harding Highway, Kanifing, The Gambia, applied for Gun Importation License in accordance with the Arms and Ammunitions Act to enable them import single barrel rifles for hunting and recreational purposes in The Gambia.
On arrival at the Banjul Seaport on Wednesday the 9th January, the shipment was subjected to routine security checks for the purpose of verification by security agents stationed at the Seaport. It was discovered that 38 of the guns were not the type authorised for importation as indicated on the packing list.
These guns are impounded by the Police and an investigation panel, consisting of personnel of the Gambia Police Force, State Intelligence Service and Gambia Armed Forces have been instituted to look into the circumstances surrounding the matter as to whether these are categories of hunting guns as claimed by the importer.
As the State Authority responsible for the granting of license under Arms and Ammunitions Act of the Gambia, the Office of the Inspector General of Police assures the general public that it will ensure national security is not compromised.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Inspector General of Police thanks the security agents for their diligence and professionalism.
ASP LAMIN NJIE
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER