|Inspector General of Police|
The Inspector General of Police of The Gambia has exonerated Mr. Abubakar Jawara, the proprietor of the Gambia Angola China (GACH) of all criminal liability after a consignment of rifles was interdicted at the Gambia Port Authority facility.
The imported guns were characterized as hunting guns at the port of entry and upon inspection, according to the account of the IGP, only 13 of the 1,200 guns, plus 60 pump action attachments, "were suspected of being conventional weapons of warfare beyond the limits of the legally acquired hunting gun license."
In short, 13 of the guns were found to be military grade, according to the IGP, after, he said, his office conducted a 2-month investigation employing the expertise of the various branches of the security establishment.
The press release issued by the IGP is silent on the End User Certificate (EUC) which is the official certification normally issued by the authorizing agency, in our case, the Gambia Police Force as provided for under the Guns and Ammunition Act of 1924. The IGP must authenticate the End User Certificate which has the stamp of the importer with a signature, assumed to be authentic.
This omission is significant because the EUC provides vital details such as the end user or importer (A. Jawara), exporter (Afrimex, Turkey), description of the goods (1,200 Br-32s and BR-33s and 50 pump action*). The purpose of these weapons, according to the EUC, is for commercial sale and 'distribution for the purpose of recreational hunting.
Mr. Jawara certify in the EUC that the rifles will be used for the purposes stated. The release did not mention the brand name of the 13 military-grade and how are they going to be disposed of, if at all. The general public would like to know from the IGP as part of the overall effort to allay the fears of a very nervous population.
Since the stated purpose of these weapons is for commercial sale, there most be a method of accounting for them through documented sales receipts that will be subject to strict inspection by state authorities. The public must also be able to access this information. It is imperative that the IGP authenticate all of the articles that has been publicly displayed including but not limited to the End User Certificate, including the stamp of the Gambia Angola and China Company and the appended signature.