Gambia’s Justice Ministry, has written to Gambian locals, who are allegedly engaged into piracy activities by using Bein Media Group’s Smartcards to connect satellite services to residents interested in watching the English Premiership Football Matches, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. An unspecified amount of money have been raised from the unauthorized connections in Banjul. Residents are usually charged D500 dalasi connection fee and a monthly hosting service of D200 dalasi, in order to be able to watch the English Premier Matches, sources familiar with the story told this medium.
The parties involved in the alleged exploitation of the Bein Media Group’s Satellite Network have claimed that The Gambia Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) is aware of their business activities in the country and that they pay taxes to the government. PURA could not be reached for comment to authenticate the veracity of such claims.
Justice Minister Mama Singhateh, in a protest letter addressed to the parties concerned said: “It has come to the attention of this office that you are allegedly engaged in the commercial transmission of the English Premiership Matches (EPL) using the Bein Media Group’s Smartcards. We have been informed that you did not obtain license from the competent authority Bein Media Group to engage in such authority. It is also our knowledge that the said signals are in fact not intended for distribution in the Gambia,” adding that the activities of the people behind the alleged illegal connections of satellite services have violated Gambia’s copyright laws. She calls for an immediate cessation of such an alleged illegal connections or the parties involved risked being facing the full brunt of the law.
A concerned Gambian, who reached us said: I would really like to share my utmost disappointment at some of our Gambian government officials for that matter; could you imagine few days ago, the Attorney General’s Chambers Of The Ministry Of Justice, just issued a press release saying that all those who are using Bein Sport receiver to show Football will be prosecuted; just because of one guy’s own selfish interest. One thing; which is certain, Bein sports have nothing to do with this nyun yepp hamnen fu problem b jogeg. Let us be realistic….dstv are the company pushing for this and they will never allow some of the opinion am getting here to subscribe to them. Imagine, how much will they charge?”
The concerned Gambian admitted that the people concerned do not have official license from Bein Media Group to sell satellite services in The Gambia “Man, got to live. There are no jobs in this country. The satellite connections have created employment opportunities for many Gambian youths. Now that they have banned the practice, more people will use the back way to Europe to earn a living. There are no opportunities in this country. The government should reconsider its decision. Bein Media Group services stops in North Africa. The same trend exists in Senegal. Why are they going after us? This is just ridiculous,” he said.
According to the concerned Gambian, one Mr. Taal, is the main behind the banning of the connections of the Bein Media Smartcards in the country. “Taal runs an office somewhere in Kotu. He is the one complaining. He wants to hijack the sector,” he alleged.
When contacted for comment, Mr. Antouman Ngum, one of the operators of the Bein Media Group Smartcard services in the country, asked to be given time to consult with his partners before making a formal reaction to the story.
“Let me have your number. I need to speak to someone, before I can make any statement. I will call you in due course,” Mr. Ngum said after we provided our phone number to him.
Another Gambian allegedly associated with the Bein Media Group satellite connections one Salieu Nyang, was also contacted for comment, but he was indisposed at the time of filing this story.
Written By A Staff Writer