By Dawda Baldeh
Muhammed S Bah, editor at Foroyaa newspaper said money laundering is under reported and journalists are not well equipped to report on the matter.
Speaking to the Daily new Bah said, Journalists are not equipped with the required knowledge to report on money laundering and elicit financing issues in the country.
Bah said, this is a subject matter that need to be addressed and Journalists should have a clear understanding on elicit finance reporting as well as terrorist reporting or terrorist financing which is very important.
He added the issue of money laundering and elicit financing is random in Africa and Gambia is not an exception.
Giving examples, he said the Casamance rebels are getting money and weapons but no one knows where they are getting their money from.
He said in The Gambia, “we are seeing anonymous people donating to our important institutions without verifying who the donors. National Assembly was given 67 pickups from anonymous donor”, he recalled.
Some members of the National Assembly took those vehicles and started using them without knowing where the money comes from. “Is it from a terrorist or from someone who deals with elicit business”, he asked?
We are not denying the fact that donors can chip in, but it has to be transparent, he told the Daily news.
There are lots of issues that need to be investigated in this country. The issue of money laundering and elicit financing need to be stopped in the country and the only way to stop it is when journalists and people are well informed on the matter and take positive approach to address the matter, he said.
A massive sensitization is needed to create public awareness and as well as journalists to be aware of money laundering and elicit financing issues as part of their mandate.
Suma W Jadama also told the Daily News, recently in a press conference held at the Sea port when drugs were discovered at the port, but 99.9% of Gambian journalists didn’t follow the story.
“A security man told me (Suma) those drugs have been move from the seaport to elsewhere,” he claims.
Speaking further Jadama said, if government wants to ensure transparency and accountability when moving those drugs, journalists should be involved in the process.
“The process should be televised, filmed, written to make sure average Gambian knows government seize the drugs but the port didn’t have the required wire house to control the drugs and they are now moving them to another location”, he emphasized.
Are we aware of that transaction? Sometimes the platforms we are working, people will bring fantasy reports but you may not be given the opportunity to televise or publish it, Jadama told the Daily news.
He said, secret donors need to be verified for people to know who is the donor, why is he/she donating and also to know who the receiver is and at what capacity.
Furthermore, he said, fake advertisement is random which is misleading people. Most of our estate owners will say “we have a plot of land at particular place which is 200 meters from the main highway and sometimes you will walk for 70 km before you get to the place”, he claimed.