Members of Gambia's Army forces are seen in front of  Supreme Court in Banjul, Gambia December 5, 2016. Picture taken December 5, 2016. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

Gambia: 10 people arrested in drug raid

At least 10 people were arrested in a drug raid outside the Gambia’s capital just a week after authorities torched nearly two tons of marijuana.

Gambian authorities announced a campaign to crackdown on drug trafficking and vowed to make the West African nation a drug free country.

Police officers were met with stiff resistance is Bakau during the arrest. Dozens of people attacked the officers, including a handful of undercover cops to a highway.

At least two police officers sustained injuries forcing the cops to use teargas to contain the situation. Riot police officers were deployed, according to the police.

“The crusade against drugs is an ongoing effort that shall remain relentless. The future of this country will not be mortgaged by drug dealers, drug peddlers and their patrons – and today we have demonstrated again our collective commitment to protect our future,” said Mai Ahmad Fatty, Gambia’s Minister for Interior.

Drug peddlers have marked Bakau’s Farokono neighborhood as a “no go area” for drug law enforcement agents but the police say they would not relent in their efforts to curb the menace in the neighborhood.

At least two tonnes of cocaine with a street value estimated at $1 billion was seized in The Gambia, bound for Europe in 2010.

In addition to the huge haul of drugs, the Gambian authorities arrested a dozen suspected traffickers, and seized large quantities of cash and arms.

Agents from the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency – the rough equivalent of the US FBI – helped discover the haul of highly concentrated cocaine behind a false wall in a warehouse basement an hour’s drive from the Gambian capital, Banjul.

West Africa has become a major transit hub for trafficking Latin American drugs to markets in Europe. Drugs cartels are taking advantage of the region’s poverty and weak security and judicial systems.

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