Gambia puts 12 on trial for drugs trafficking


cocaine file photoTwelve foreigners arrested in The Gambia last month, and whose capture aided a major drugs bust, have appeared in court.

Their arrests led to the discovery of at least two tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $1bn (£686m), bound for Europe.

They were apprehended in May and face drugs trafficking charges in relation to 3kg of cocaine.

West Africa has become a major transit point for drugs trafficking.

All the accused, who include Dutch and Venezuelan nationals as well as citizens of West African countries, have pleaded not guilty.

The BBC’s Mark Doyle in Banjul says that the early charges against them for the small quantity of cocaine will likely be followed by more serious offences relating to the massive haul announced on Tuesday.

Our correspondent says the suspects appeared in court looking dishevelled, confused and scared – and had no defence lawyer.

The Gambia has not had a drugs case on this scale before, our correspondent adds.

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