By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Gambian Revenue Authority, in a statement released to the public, has disclosed that their Mobile Brigade, Intelligence, and Investigation Unit, arrested five (5) people involved in smuggling alcoholic beverages into the country.
The statement added that the suspects who allegedly entered the country through the Dimbaya border post from Guinea Bissau are; three Senegalese, a Rwandan, and one Gambian national.
The apprehension occurred following the launch of an operation around the surroundings of Dimbaya village to Jabang where the suspects were arrested.
The Deputy Commissioner General of GRA, Essa Jallow, is quoted in the release statement to have said that the festivities in December are responsible for the increase in smuggling activities.
“December is the peak period for alcoholic consumption in the country due to the Christmas and New Year festivities coupled with the boom in tourists’ arrival during this period,” he said.
“The smugglers are using this opportunity to engage in the illegal importation of alcoholic beverages to increase their income-generating opportunities,” Jallow added.
It was also revealed that during their operations to arrest these smugglers, some GRA officers sustained injuries from an accident they were involved in.
While they seek support from communities, particularly those around porous borders to help combat illegal smuggling, the country’s revenue authority also sent a strict warning to the public.
“GRA will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone found involved in all forms of illegal importation.”