A disturbing revelation has emerged on Gambia’s Diplomatic Passport scandal, which recently plagued the administration of Adama Barrow, Freedom Newspaper can report. It would be recalled that when the scandal first hit the news stand, some close aides of Mr. Barrow were linked to the alleged corrupt practices. They were accused of issuing Diplomatic Passports for financial gains. The matter was referred to the police for investigation and the possible prosecution of the alleged offenders. So far, no one has been convicted by the courts, as far as the Diplomatic Passport scandal case was concerned.
Now, a senior Gambian law enforcement officer Chief Inspector Bubacarr Bah has been named in the Passport scandal. Bah, has been accused of illegally processing Diplomatic Passports for Gambians and non-Gambians. He had allegedly been paid millions of dalasis by the people, he assisted to secure the restricted Passport.
Inspector Bah had helped others to secure visas to Europe with The Gambian Diplomatic Passport. It is alleged that he had contacts at the Foreign Ministry and the State House in Banjul to issue the passports.
One of Bah’s accusers Serign Touray is a Senegalese National. Touray told Freedom Newspaper that he was asked to pay over two hundred and twenty six thousand dalasis (D226,000) by Inspector Bah, so that he (Bah) can help him with a Diplomatic Passport to travel to Canada. Touray said he complied and paid the money to Mr. Bah. He was issued with a Gambian Diplomatic Passport. His employment status at the State House was Protocol Officer, per the passport that was issued to him by Bah.
He was listed as an employee of The Gambian government, even though he wasn’t employed. Touray also confirmed that he was not a Gambian national. He came to The Gambia with the hope of securing a Diplomatic Passport to secure visa to Canada.
Inspector Bah was the main man helping folks to secure The Gambian Diplomatic passport and visas, he alleged. Western Embassies are often deceived with such passports to issue visas to applicants. So far, some had succeeded in securing visas because of their alleged Diplomatic status and fake employment with the Barrow State House.
Unfortunately for Serign Touray, he couldn’t secure a visa to Canada. As deal went south, he demanded his money from Bah. He resorted to reporting the matter to the police complaint and discipline unit in Banjul.
After weeks of going to the police headquarters in Banjul to recover his money, Touray was unsuccessful in his drive to recover his money. Dissatisfied with the police’s pace of handling his case, he said he was advised by his host Modou Mbye, the son of a former cop, to report the matter to the Freedom Newspaper.. Mbye’s Dad is Sainey Mbye; the former Head of Gambia’s Drug squad.
Touray narrated his story to us. He provided us with documentation of the transaction he had with Inspector Bah including voice notes, pictures among others. Bah was photographed taking money from Mr. Touray in his office. There is also a video of him discussing with Touray and Mbye during the passport transaction. We are yet to receive the video. He said they have handed the video to the police.
On Wednesday night, we contacted the police spokesman ASP Lamin Njie for comment. Njie promised to get back to us today Thursday on the matter. He said he was going to contact the police discipline unit for details.
Njie was contacted this morning, but his line was busy. He couldn’t be reached for comment.
As we file this piece, we have been reliably informed by Modou Mbye, Serign Touray’s host about the arrest of Inspector Bubacarr Bah. He said Bah was arrested today. He is currently held at the Serious Crime Unit, Mbye said. Bah was in uniform at the time of his arrest. He is helping police detectives in their investigations.
Bah was being allegedly aided by one Dodou Camara, a civilian. Camara was arrested and later granted bail.
He has been accused of extorting D850,000 dalasis from another Gambian. He was also given a car by the visa and passport seeker.
In another development, we contacted the police spokesman ASP Lamin Njie before going to press. Njie has asked us to call him later in the evening for details on the matter. He was busy when the call was placed.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
Email: [email protected]