Few days ago, we reported about local fishing boats being used to smuggle petrol from neighboring Senegal. Assan Faye’s boat was intercepted by the Navy. His boat has been seized and is under armed police intervention unit officers guard at the ports of Banjul.
We were able to have photographs of the two boats that have been smuggling petrol from Senegal to The Gambia. These two boats are yet to be stopped by the Navy. One of the boats is called “RENAISSANCE.” Renaissance is owned by an Arab Israeli national called Erez.
The second boat is called “ GRACE.” Grace is owned by one Gambian lady called Mrs. Sillah.
These boats have been trafficking petrol from Senegal to The Gambia. Chinese fish meal company operators have been buying fuel from the traffickers for a cheaper price. The trafficked fuel is also available in the black market for sale.
The fuel smugglers’ have been evading taxes. The government is being denied millions of dalasis of tax revenue.
Observers have noted that the fuel smuggling has contributed to the country’s high gas prices. They also say it is partly responsible for the fire incidents in some communities.
Meanwhile, Assan Faye’s seized boat is yet to be fined by the GRA. His vote has been seized for a month now.
Gambia’s security agents have impounded a fishing trawler after its owner one Assan Faye has been accused smuggling fuel from neighboring Senegal, Freedom Newspaper can report. Armed police intervention unit officers have deployed to occupy the seized boat, pending what sources called over a month-long unending investigation carried by The Gambian security agencies.
Assan Faye and his crew were reportedly interviewed by the police and released. No charges have been filed against them.
According to sources, The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) is among the agencies handling the illegal petrol smuggling case involving Mr. Faye’s fishing boat.
“He is yet to be fined or taken to court. The GRA has been dragging its foot on this matter. Assan Faye is not the only one involved in the fuel smuggling. There is also this Israeli Narr called Erez, who is smuggling fuel into the country from Senegal. They are not going after Erez. There is also this lady called Ms. Sillah, she also operating a boat that is smuggling fuel,” a source alleged.
“Erez has been discharge fuel on trucks at the Kerewan bolong and around the Sanyang beach. All these is possible because they have been bribing government officials. Port harbor officials and some Navy personnel are aware of the fuel smuggling, but they didn’t stop it. Assan Faye is the unlucky one. He was reported by his own people,” our source further alleged.
According to sources, the fuel smugglers have been selling the fuel to Chinese fish meal factories operating along Gambia’s coastal fishing towns and villages.
“The Chinese have been buying fuel from them. They prefer buying the smuggled fuel for a cheap price than buying it from the local pump. They are denying legitimate fuel importers and government huge revenue. The fuel smugglers do not pay taxes. Government is losing a lot of money from such an illegal fuel trade,” our sources added.
The GRA could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.