Gambia’s broke ass President Yahya Jammeh, has dispatched his Immigration agents to Belgium and Spain to issue bio-metric passports to Gambians residing in EU countries, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The economically bankrupt despot, is selling the passports for $125 Euros each. The Gambian Embassies in Belgium and Spain, respectively are being used as venues to process the passports for the interested applicants. OC Faye of the Immigration Department is heading the Belgium mission. He is accompanied by another Immigration agent.
Gambia’s Citizenship and Immigration Services have been privatized. It is being run by a foreign company, affiliated with some Lebanese. The Gambian passport issuance in Europe, came at a time, when France, Belgium, and other EU countries including the United States, are busy combating ISIS. Both France and Belgium recently elevated their terror alert status, following the deadly terror attacks in Paris.
The Gambian Immigration Agents arrived in Belgium two weeks ago. They have been assigned to issue passports to Gambian nationals in Europe. It is not clear if The Gambian government has formally informed the authorities in Belgium, and Madrid, before embarking on the unannounced passport issuance at a foreign soil.
Given the recent the terror attacks in France, one would have thought that the Jammeh government will exercise some degree of empathy to the affected countries and the terror victims, but to the contrary, Jammeh is selling passports in Europe at this hour. The fundamental question that comes to mind is: What’s the guarantee that the bad guys will not lay their hands on the Gambian document?
The government of The Gambia is running such operations at the embassy level without the supervision of the Belgian and Spanish authorities. And keep in mind that there is no emergency situation in The Gambia that would warrant the massive issuance of such passports in large numbers.
Of course, such a move has been motivated by economic factors. The Gambian dictator, has been rendered cash trapped, following economic sanctions imposed against his regime by the European Union. Now, he has resorted to selling passports in Europe for exorbitant prices.
During an undercover sting operation, this reporter posed as a Gambian interested in acquiring The Gambian bio-metric passport. He spoke with one of the Gambian Immigration officers, who told him that they arrived in Belgium two weeks ago. The officer said he, and his colleague have been hosted at a University residence not far from the Gambian mission.
“We are here to issue Gambian bio-metric passports to Gambians residing in Europe. The passports cost 125 Euros. If you need one, you should come and see us at the embassy by Friday. We are leaving on Saturday for Banjul. We are using the embassy as a base to issue passports,” the officer remarked.
“The public turnout has not been very impressive. We have been here for over two weeks. It was only few days ago, that some people started showing up to apply for passports. So far, we have issued twelve passports. The Embassy did not do a pretty good job in advertising our presence here. The Ambassador Tenengba Jaiteh travelled. She was away. She just came back. Our team in Spain have issued a lot of passports to Gambians compared to our team. The Spain team is doing well,” he added.
According to the Gambian Immigration agent, part of their mission was also to test the waters in Belgium and Spain, in an attempt to assess the demand of passport applicants in Europe.
“The Ministry of Interior sent us here. If all plans goes well, we will have a desk officer in Belgium and Spain to issue bio metric passports to Gambians. An officer would be stationed here,” he said.
A letter dated December 7, 2015, and was signed by Ebrima Camara, on behalf of Ambassador Tenengba Jaiteh, informed Gambians residing in Europe, about the arrival of Gambian Immigration agents, whose job was to issue passports to interested applicants.
“The team is using The Gambian Embassy as a base, working from 9:30 am to 17:30 hours each day, and that in the event that Gambians cannot travel to come to Brussels, the team is ready to meet with them in a City of their choice, depending of course on the number,” Mr. Camara said.
As intimated by Diplomat Ebrima Camara, the Gambia government is in desperate need of foreign exchange. The regime is even extending invitations to would be passport applicants to meet them at their homes or cities.
“The Embassy would like to count on Gambian Associations to help disseminate this very important message. The fee for Biometric is 125 Euros. There is no need to bring along photos; the team has brought along gadgets to help obtain photos right on the spot,” said Mr. Ebrima O Camara.
Written By A Staff Writer