Some Gambian Immigration Officers recently implicated in a high profile visa theft case, will soon know their fate, as according to the Inspector General of police Landing Kinteh, the case file of the accused officers have been forwarded to the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice for Legal Advice, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. IGP Kinteh, speaking during an exclusive interview with the Freedom Newspaper, has vehemently debunked reports circulating in town that there are efforts spearheaded in some quarters to stifle the Immigration visa theft case.
IGP LANDING KINTEH
“What happed…a lot of people don’t know the procedures. When it comes to the rule of law, there are certain procedures you have to pass through. As much as I am myself, I am lawyer, and the police we have lawyers, we are not tasked, or it is not part of our responsibility to give legal advice. The institution that has the responsibility to give legal advice is the Attorney General and Minister of Justice,” Kinteh remarked.
“ Actually, we did our investigations. We sent the file to the Minister of Justice for the normal legal advice and that’s the advice we are waiting for and then you know.. people went to town (ha ha ha) th at (ha ha ha) there are attempts to stifle the investigations; you know or do away with the case, which is not the truth,” IGP Kinteh added.
Some officers of the Gambia Immigration Department were recently named in a corruption scandal report published by the US based Freedom Newspaper. The officers allegedly conspired and defrauded the Gambian government in the sum of over D1.4 million dalasis. The funds in question, represents visa fees the officers stationed at the sea port in Banjul, collected from a visiting Dutch tourist boat, which was anchored at the port of Banjul.
Immigration Deputy Director Seedy Touray, had earlier written to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior Bulli Dibba, in the wake of the corruption scandal to brief Mr. Dibba, about his findings in regards to the stolen visa funds. Touray accused the officers of denying the government of the much needed funds to develop the impoverished West African nation.
“Probably by Monday, or week coming next, we will be able to get our hands on an advice from the AG’S Chambers. It is two ways: They may say, they may retain it for their own prosecution or they will send it for police prosecution; either ways,” IGP Kinteh told me, in a phone interview on Saturday.
According to Kinteh, the Ministry of Justice has the final say as far as prosecution is concerned. “What the police recommends is not important; what is important is the final stuff that will come out from the AG’S Chambers,” he said.
On why the police forwarded its investigative report to the Minister of Interior, Kinteh, said since the complainant in this matter was the Ministry of Interior, it was normal for the police to brief them about the outcome of the investigations.
“The investigation was sanctioned by the Ministry of Interior. They wrote to us to investigate into the matter. It is prudent after we finished before we send it to the AG Chambers, we give them a brief as to what we have discovered. It is just for their information. They have nothing to add or reduce,” he pointed out.