Union Scandal Unveiled: President of Gambia Maritime Dockworkers Union Accused of Embezzling D9m

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Lang Bala Sawo, the President of the Gambia Maritime Dockworkers Union

By Alieu Ceesay 

Lang Bala Sawo, the President of the Gambia Maritime Dockworkers Union, has been under fire amid wild accusations of embezzling a whopping sum of little over D9 million from the Union’s welfare funds. 

Certain members of the Union first reported the matter to Banjul Seaport police station earlier today, feeling utterly betrayed by what they called a “gross embezzlement of their welfare funds.” 

One source at the center of the case told this medium that they reported this monumental financial mismanagement to the police to seek justice and accountability for the vulnerable dockworkers whose livelihood benefits were embezzled by the Union’s President and all those who aided and abetted him. 

“We take him to the police for misusing our hard-earned money meant to promote and protect our members welfare and wellbeing. Embezzling D9m from our purse is heartless, to say the least,” our source within the dockworkers union has said with disappointment. 

Another source familiar with the case also said that they are determined to ensure that Lang Bala Sawo and any other person involved in this callousness face the full wrath of the law and pay back the poor dockworkers’ money appropriately. 

“The case was reported to the seaport station inside Gambia Ports Authority this morning, where Lang Bala Sawo’s statement was taken and processed. As of now, I can authoritatively tell you that both the accused person and the case file have been handed over to the Fraud Unit at Police headquarters, Banjul, for investigations into the matter,” the source stated. 

Both sources expressed concern that this case, which involved millions of dalasi, may not go any further simply because they believe that the accused person, Lang Bala Sawo, is a prominent NPP member and sympathizer. They justified their claim with the presence of Saihou Mballow, one of President Barrow’s advisers to the seaport police today, while the accused was in detention. They rhetorically asked why this case became a priority for presidential adviser Mballow. 

The Gambia Maritime Dockworkers Union was formed in 1953 and has a growing membership of 517. Throughout its history, it has never recorded such massive financial mismanagement under any preceding leadership. This grand corruption and gross financial indiscipline came just two years after the Gambia Ports Authority led the process that culminated in transforming the Union into the Gambia Dock Labour Company in 2022. 

TAT attempted to contact the police spokesperson but received no response.

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