Is State House behind the release of Lebanese cocaine importers?

Written by Eddy Jatta

Rumours are circulating at the Police Headquarters in Banjul that the State House is interfering in a criminal probe involving Mahdi Tajudinn and Ossama Mahmoud.

The two businessmen were arrested  after the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) discovered 48 blocks of cocaine hidden in a sugar container allegedly belonging to them.

The cocaine was  believed to originate from Latin America.

"Mahdi Tajudinn and Ossama Mahmoud will never appear in court. You can take it to the bank! What we heard is that the State House is very interested in the case," said a Police Headquarters insider.

The deputy public relations officer at the DLEAG, Yassin A. Ndimballan was allegedly demoted for announcing the discovery and seizure of the 48 blocks of cocaine.

One of her colleagues, who begged for anonymity, told What's On-Gambia: "Her announcement did not go down well with the leadership of the agency. She was reprimanded for revealing too much information to the public."

Yassin, who many described as one of the most brilliant female DLEAG officers, was immediately moved to the Child Welfare Unit at the Brusubi Police Station.

"The Child Welfare Unit is a dumping ground or a place of demotion for officers they want to frustrate," said her colleague.

Why would the State House interfere with the investigation?

Most of the Lebanese businessmen in The Gambia are major political donors- though there is still a good deal of mystery about how they donate money to politicians.

They allegedly gave so much to former President Yahya Jammeh during his 22-year-old rule. President Adama Barrow might also need their support if he decides to establish his own political party.