New details have emerged on the three tons cocaine case involving one Banta Keita, a Gambian French National, Freedom Newspaper can report. It was on January 7th, 2021, when operatives of Gambia’s Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DELAG) seized 118 bags found to be containing cocaine at the port of Banjul. The drugs were part of a consignment of four containers originating from Ecuador, South America. The containers were said to be containing what DELAG called 1000 bags of industrial salt.
Per our investigations, the three containers were transported by the Maersk Line shipping company. The shipment passed through the port of Spain, before landing at the ports of Banjul on January 1st, 2021. Maersk Line Vessel Boston trader brought the shipment at the port of Banjul, our research revealed.
The fourth container containing the cocaine was brought in by MSC, the MSC Anishar. It made a discharge at the ports of Antwerp, and later proceeded to Las Palmas. The fourth container docked at the ports of Banjul on December 27th, 2020.
According to sources close to the Ports Authority in Banjul, the four containers were shipped by ECU worldwide Ecuador SA and was consigned to Bollore Transport and logistics as their local partner.
Our investigations revealed that an in-house bill of landing was issued to a consignee Circuit Long Trading limited. This company was traced to Sheriff Njie, a 44-year-old Gambian. Njie has since been helping DELAG in their investigations.
When interviewed by DELAG, Njie told the investigators that the containers belong to Banta Keita. Keita was invited to the seaport, but he refused to show up. He later flees the country.
Our investigations also showed that the company named on the bags purportedly containing industrial salt has been registered as limited liability company in Ecuador. The company’s name is ECUABARISTA. It operates as coffee and tea manufacturing company. The company has only two employees on its payroll.
The man at the epicenter of the Banjul probe Banta Keita had three passports in his possession. He owns French, Gambian, and Malian passports. He goes with the name Lasana Kante in his Malian Passport.
Banta is a person of interest in France. The French police have been trailing him on suspected drug trafficking.
Lamin Gassama is heading the investigation into the seized drugs.The police, the State Intelligence Services (SIS) and other security agencies have been excluded from the investigations.
Meanwhile, the seized drugs have been moved to the DELAG CTI office in Bijilo. Our agents on the ground are keenly monitoring developments. We will keep you posted with developments.