Twelve in Gambian court over record drugs bust

9th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Twelve nationals of various countries appeared in a Gambian court Wednesday on three counts of drug trafficking related to the record seizure of two tonnes of cocaine in the tiny west African nation.

According to the charge sheet, the accused "had in their possession cocaine, a prohibited drug for the purpose of supply... transport or and/or transfers as an occupation business and there by committed an offence."

They pleaded not guilty and were remanded in state custody. The case was adjourned to June 30.

The four Nigerians, three Ghanians, two Venezuelans and three Dutch nationals were arrested in possession of three kilogrammes (nearly 10 pounds) of cocaine, which led to the discovery of a further two tonnes of cocaine on June 4.

The drugs were found in an underground bunker concealed behind a false wall in a warehouse used by a fishing company owned by some of the suspects.

Authorities also found 250,000 dollars (207,760 euros) in cash and a number of loaded firearms.

Another three suspects were arrested Tuesday in the case which Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency described as a "record" seizure for West Africa which is increasingly targeted by drug cartels as a transit point.

© 2010 AFP

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