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10179 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2019 :  17:16:56  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
September 11, 2019

Henry Gomez, leader of GPDP and youth adviser to President Barrow, was Tuesday called by police investigating the on-going diplomatic passport scandal.

Confirming this to The Standard, Government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh said Gomez is among at least 16 others who have been arrested or questioned over the scandal.

He also said some arrests were made in Germany.

Throughout last week a panel of investigators has been busy trying to get to the bottom of how ineligible people get hold of Gambian diplomatic passports.

The police are looking for possible fraud and forgery.

However leaked documents have also surfaced suggesting a suspected abuse of the document even where due process was followed.

President Barrow has warned no one who is found wanting will be spared in the investigations.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10179 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2019 :  09:07:01  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
September 10, 2019

Dear editor,

The press statement by the Government Spokesman Ebrima Sankareh needs more clarity and honesty.

To just compose a statement with a bunch of high sounding words and slogans cannot derail or mislead conscious citizens.

Therefore I pose the following questions and concerns for the attention of Mr. Sankareh and his Government to address.

1. Which Gambian law authorizes the President to issue diplomatic passports! Can the Spokesman cite the specific law and the specific provision.

2. The investigation must not focus on only those who illegally acquired diplomatic passports.

It must also determine whether the President did not issue diplomatic passports to ineligible persons.

The President is not beyond corruption, nepotism, favoritism or patronage. Therefore the investigators must find out if the president did ever give out these passports to undeserving persons for whatever reasons.

3. Why is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not part of the investigation panel given that diplomatic passports are about foreign affairs?
4. The investigation must not be limited such that the Government only manipulates it to suit its own interest.

The investigation must be thorough, open and consider all issues surrounding diplomatic passports.

Therefore who is the chair of the panel and which individuals constitute the panel?
5. How long will this investigation last so that we know when to expect results.

It has become routine for this Government to declare the opening of investigations into matters of concern yet nothing comes out at the end.

Until today the investigation report of the shooting to death of Haruna Jatta in Kanilai in 2017 is yet to come out, if indeed there was in fact an investigation in the first place.

Failure to address these questions and concerns would indicate that once again The Gambia Government is engaged in hoodwinking citizens.

As citizens we must not allow yet another government in The Gambia to throw dust into our eyes with cock and bull stories.

This press statement is empty, misleading, inadequate and in bad faith.
Let the Spokesman answer, truthfully

Madi Jobarteh
Kembuje village

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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10179 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2019 :  16:46:48  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Monday, September 16, 2019

‘All diplomatic passports of my family have been returned to the state,’ the minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou, disclosed to the press on Friday.

“The diplomatic passports were served for a purpose to facilitate my family to go to Saudi Arabia to assist my mum using wheelchair,” he clarified.

“Before acquiring the diplomatic passports, I sought advice from competent authority if I could apply for them and I was told yes,” he said.

“I followed the process in the right channel and it was granted, Mr. Tambadou further clarified. “There was no dubious deal.”

“My family members continue to use ordinary passports. Everything was transparent,” he added.

Mr. Tambadou, however, dismissed the call on social media for him to resign.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9466 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2019 :  21:32:13  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
578 Diplomatic Passports Issued In 2017- Minister Tangara

Foroyaa: September 17, 2019

By Kebba AF Touray

Momodou Tanagra, Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, on Tuesday told legislators that the Foreign Affairs Ministry issued 578 diplomatic passports in 2017.

He disclosed this in response to a question raised on behalf of the Kombo South legislator, Kebba K Barrow, who was not in Parliament.

The question reads: “can the Foreign Affairs Ministry furnish this august assembly a comprehensive list of names and addresses of Gambians issued diplomatic passports from January 2017 to end February 2019”.

Minister Tangara replied: “The Ministry issued 578 diplomatic passports and 320 service passports in 2017. In 2018, the Ministry issued 448 diplomatic passports and 333 service passports. This results over the reference period from January to December 2018 to a total of one thousand and twenty-six (1026) diplomatic passports and six hundred and fifty-three (653) service passports?”

Ousman Sillah asked: “Is the Foreign Affairs Ministry considering setting up Ministerial Taskforce with stakeholders to support Gambian migrants including both the returnees and those presently in Europe?”

Minister Tangara said his Ministry began work with stakeholders such as IOM, Immigration Department, Interior Ministry among others, in addressing the issues of migrants for quite a long time ago.

He added that at the moment, Gambians have agreed to support migrants with education, training and coaching to set up small scale enterprises, and collaborate with private businesses to help migrants with internship.

He continued, “Migrants will receive total payment of EURO 5300 per family and a further reintegration support package amounting to EURO 2000.”

Halifa Sallah asked the minister, “Is the Ministry aware of the Gambian Asylum cases in Germany, if so is the government working with those governments to implement their policy and if not what is the government doing to avert a crisis, which is being fuelled by the unilateral migration policy of our development partners?”

Minister Tangara responded that the government has not received any formal communication from German Authorities regarding the statistic. He added the Foreign Affairs Ministry is aware of the current repatriation saga from Europe and in particular Germany.

“It is never a policy of this government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collaborate with foreign partners to return our citizens and it is quite the contrary as manifested by the Ministry in putting in place a moratorium in the form of a note verbal address to our counterpart via the German Embassy in Dakar”, said Minister Tangara.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9466 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2019 :  15:15:34  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Momodou


The Standard: September 3, 2019
By Omar Bah
& Amadou Jadama

Mansa Sumareh, a State House driver who used to drive President Barrow and was recently questioned by police over the raging diplomatic passport scandal, has told The Standard that even though he was taken in by the police, he has not been found to have done anything wrong.

“The police called me in and said they have arrested one person at the Foreign Affairs whiles another is on the run.

They also told me they have set up a panel to investigate passport scandal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The police informed me that a particular passport was seized by the Immigration and taken to the Foreign Affairs where it was later realised that it was issued to the holder by one Ebrima Sanneh and others who have run away,” Mansa said.

He said the police informed him that the signatures on the passports were from State House but the way they were obtained was mysterious.

“I told them as far as I am concerned, I have no mandate to issue passports; that is not part of my job.

The police also called protocol officers at State House for questioning and they informed the police that the protocols at Foreign Affairs often forge their signatures to issue diplomatic passports to people,” Mansa told The Standard.

He further explained however that the person whom they seized the passport from had once approached him, claiming he had brought some investors to the country but he wanted a diplomatic passport.

“I showed him all the right channels and advised him to follow the right channels to reach Foreign Affairs.

“In fact I personally took him to a director at Foreign Affairs who informed us that such process takes time; a procedure which can be very long and rigid.

But when the man returned again, he went to Foreign Affairs himself and was issued a diplomatic passport by some junior staff at the Ministry. This is the passport seized from him by the Immigration Department who took him to the police,” Mansa said.

He went on: “So when the police asked me whether I was the one who introduced the guy to the Foreign Affairs Ministry staff, I said no and Foreign Affairs too did not mention my name.

But the guy later told the police that he had given me money last year.

But thank God the guy who directed him to me came to the police and cleared me and was released.

So really my name is cleared when it comes to the issue of the passport.

“The guy who was issued the passport has since been released though his passport has been seized.”

Meanwhile Mansa has flatly denied claims that he was no longer working at State House.

“I am still working at State House.

In fact, it was only day before yesterday that I received my salary.

Whoever said I am sacked is lying,” he stressed.

However, a statement from the presidency stated that Mansa no longer drives the president:
“The attention of the public is hereby drawn to a news article published in the Standard newspaper on the Monday 2nd September 2019 that erroneously described one Mansa Sumareh as ‘the President’s driver’.

For the purpose of clarity and accuracy, Mansa Sumareh is neither the Chief Driver nor a driver of the president.

Mr Sumareh ceased being the Chief Driver of the Head of the State since November 2018.

The office solicits your kind cooperation to correct this error immediately to avoid any more confusion on this matter.”

State House chief driver resigns

The Standard: September 19, 2019

Mansa Sumareh, chief driver at State House who was once President Barrow’s personal driver, has resigned.

The driver tendered his resignation, saying he has decided to go after realizing that the working environment is no longer conducive for him.

He however stated that he remains open to contributing his quota to the National Development Plan, saying that every Gambian should be involved in that.

Mansa caused a national debate when he admitted he was questioned by police over the diplomatic passport scandal and clear his name. He subsequently made public denials that he was ever removed as chief driver after State House said he no longer drives the president.

“I am not angry with anybody.

I have served in my role as chief driver as well as defending the president’s agenda at all times.

I am resigning because i feel it is the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Mansa told The Standard last night.State House chief driver resigns

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9466 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2019 :  15:30:20  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Investigators Target Illicit Trade in Diplomatic Passports

September 13, 2019


Several Germans have managed to procure diplomatic passports from African countries, including former tennis star Boris Becker and figures with criminal histories. Now authorities are investigating a suspected network of intermediaries..........

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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10179 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2019 :  19:18:39  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The German Authorities do have a reputation of being very thorough in their invetigations,I wonder what they will discover ,if anything.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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9466 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2019 :  09:55:18  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Diplomatic passports for criminal Germans?

Only Guinea-Bissau, now Gambia: Again, according to SPIEGEL information dubious German businessmen have received African diplomatic passports. Among them is the stunted professional boxer Mario Daser.

The affair of African diplomatic badges for criminal Germans expands after SPIEGEL information. In addition to the state of Gui,nea-Bissau now Gambia is affected. There, the events triggered a government crisis, more than a dozen suspects were arrested.

The background: Gambian diplomatic passports were issued to dubious German and European business people with some criminal past. Some of them are the same men against whom the Munich public prosecutor's office is already investigating, including the punitive Andreas Brandl, known to the justice, and the stunted professional boxer Mario Daser.

A Gambian diplomatic passport has also been issued for a Swiss millionaire son against whom a German warrant has been issued. The three were the investigators initially noticed as the owner of questionable diplomatic identity cards of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

However, several of these papers were confiscated by the Federal Police in May at Frankfurt Airport (SPIEGEL 38/2019) . A few weeks later, passports of the Republic of Gambia were issued to the men. In it, they are referred to as Gambian citizens and special ambassadors ("Ambassador at Large").

According to the government, Gambia is now investigating allegedly corrupt employees of the local Foreign Ministry. In Germany, police arrested three men involved in the Passover at the end of August. One of the prisoners had helped Boris Becker to an African diplomatic post in 2018, with which the ex-tennis star tried unsuccessfully to escape his bankruptcy.

Daser's lawyer did not want to comment on the allegations. Brandl's defense lawyer said his client could not explain the investigation. He wanted to "comment on all allegations in due time".

Reported by German news paper::

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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9466 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2019 :  11:02:03  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Diplomatic Passport Saga: 20 arrested, 289 readable machines missing

The Point: Friday, November 8, 2019

As investigation into the diplomatic passports scandal deepens, latest revelations have led to the arrest of 20 suspects with 289 diplomatic passport readable machines still unaccounted for.

Ebrima Sankareh, government spokesperson, made this remarks while giving an update on the latest investigation by police during an interview with the West Coast Radio morning coffee breakfast show.

“20 people have been arrested in connection with the diplomatic passports scandal”.

Sankareh was however, quick to add that all the arrested suspects have been granted bail and are cooperating with the investigating panel.

Some of those arrested, he explained, are working at the Office of the President, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Brikama Area Council, Gambia Immigration Department and businessmen among others. However, he hinted that the figure might even increase.

He added: “The panel investigating the matter has also provided some very interesting figures about the entire passport saga. Investigation also reveals that from 2003 to 2014 a total of 15, 996 diplomatic passports were supplied by the printing company ‘De La Rue’ to the government of The Gambia.”

According to him, out of 15, 996 diplomatic passports, 12, 496 diplomatic passports were deposited at the Central Bank of The Gambia.

During investigation, he went on, it was discovered that 400 passports were issued before handing over the stock to the Central Bank of The Gambia.

“So the Central Bank also issued 2000 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the same period leaving the remaining balance of 10, 496 still in the vault at the Central Bank.”

Government spokesman further indicated that it was also discovered that a stock of 3100 passports were received by the Gambia Immigration Department from ‘De La Rue’ and handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but were never delivered to the Central Bank.

Records from the Immigration Department established that 138 books were issued from the stock, adding that 2650 were discovered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 23 others recovered from suspects.

Accordingly, the panel found out that 289 machine-readable diplomatic passports still remain unaccounted for.

The investigating panel has also contacted Interpol to write to their counterparts and to revoke the diplomatic passports issued to some investors, who acquired the diplomatic passports.

“In 2008, there were some German investors, who were able to maneouver and were issued with diplomatic passports and they paid 10, 000 euros.”

This above figure, he added, is among the highest that the investigation panel has revealed in which people got the passports, while others range from D175, 000, D250, 000 and then D35, 000 to D40, 000.

“The investigation is on-going and then the witnesses are cooperating with the police and that is the beauty of it.” He divulged.

Author: Momodou Jawo

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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