Gambia Police say arrest of two Germans believed to be Mercenaries ‘false’

ASP Lamin Njie, Gambia Police Force Spokesperson

The Gambia Police Force has issued a statement clarifying a media report on the alleged arrest of two German nationals believed to be mercenaries by the Gambia Navy.

In a press statement from Police public affairs unit, the police said online reports about the arrest are false.

” We have learned with dismay information published on social media by a Facebook profile holder named Dimansa Kujabie. Among other things, the author claimed that two heavily armed German nationals believed to be mercenaries were intercepted at sea by the Gambia Navy along with 6 PIU personnel escort around Denton Bridge.”

The police statement further stated: ” He further went on insinuating a threat to the security of the country as mentioned in his post.The public is urged to disregard this information as false and misleading. To set the records straight, the two men shown in the picture published in the Facebook post are security personnel of Trident Group America ( a private American Maritime Security Company ) specialized in protecting cruise ships along the Gulf of Guinea against attacks by pirates.”

” As part of the company’s standard operation procedures and in conformity with international maritime security protocols; the company was obliged to seek entry permit, and clearance for the arms and ammunitions coming into the territorial waters of transit countries.

Following such clearance sought, transit country’s Police are mandated to retrieve for custody all weapons on arrival and hand over same on departure. This is to ensure such weapons are not used for any unintended purposes.

It was in observant of the above protocols that personnel of the PIU were directed to escort the weapons to be handed over to the cruise ship as they depart the territorial waters of The Gambia. It is important to note that, information in view of the retrieval and custody of the weapons was shared with all relevant stakeholders accordingly.

The IGP wishes to assure the public that the GPF will not relent in executing its constitutional mandate of maintaining peace and security within the country.

Online bloggers and reporters are encouraged to always verify facts at all times and desist from publishing unconfirmed information particularly on security matters to avoid causing undue fear among the public.The usual cooperation and understanding of the public is highly solicited.”

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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