Kololi Tavern residents report frequent fighting between drug gangs


With the anti-drug police regularly reporting arrests of drug traffickers, and as its use flourishes in many communities across the country, residents of Kololi Tavern are complaining of drug dealing in their community.

They spoke to The Alkamba Times following recent clashes involving rival drug gangs at Kololi Tavern, who usually fight for dominance in the drug business. It sports a lucrative business center with everything available, from food to drugs, escorts, and alcohol.

One person who witnessed the clashes said the gangs of rival drug dealers often engage in running battles over turf or the sharing of proceeds from drug sales.

This source shows drug dealers would deal before their compounds, pushing hard drugs, including crack cocaine.

“One thing is for sure; a generation of youths would be lost to drug addiction with no rehabilitation possibilities in this country.

“The police will occasionally appear, and then everyone behaves, but the activities resume as soon as they leave.

“It’s 24/7 of profane language, general disorderly conduct, and running battles among the groups,” one resident told TAT.

Another resident lived a few meters from Kololi Tavern and described the incidents as “worrying.”

“The entire neighborhood is on a knife’s edge. Drug dealing and drug use happens in front of houses, and homeowners dare not say or do anything.

“Sometimes, it affects people’s ability to go to the mosque for Fajr prayers. Would you like to live in a neighborhood like that?”

The residents are calling on law enforcement authorities to intervene and curb the area’s crime urgently.

TAT investigations reveal that police usually come when such clashes are reported but hardly make any arrests. This has raised suspicion that some officers may be on the drug dealers’ payroll.

It would be recalled that the Brussels Times recently reported the arrest of five suspects following an investigation into drug smuggling at Brussels airport in Zaventem.

This was after a flight landed from Banjul, which investigators from the Federal Judicial Police had closely monitored, according to the report.

Past interceptions of hard drugs and recent events signpost the Gambia’s transition as a route in the illegal drugs trade, but the author. Still, authorities watching by – a special anti-narcotics unit is expanding its quest to get ahead of traffickers as hotspots like Kololi Tavern make life unbearable for metropolitan residents.

The spokesperson of the police in Gambia is yet to respond to a TAT request for comment on the reported matter.

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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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