By Olimatou Coker
Customs and Exciseplay an indispensable role in the interception and disruption of nefarious enterprises, according to Yankuba Darboe, commissioner general of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).
The commissioner was speaking at a training designed to build capacities of regional liaison officers in combating illicit trade in counterfeit medicines and other contraband products.
“In the same vein, customs is highly instrumental in the fight against environment degradation, and as such customs enforces several international instruments such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES),” he rstated.
According to CG Darboe, the training has been eventful for all customs agencies across West and Central Africa (WCA).
“During this period, the 23 members of the (WCA) untied to combat the illicit trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical and other contraband products through the Operations Coordination Unit (OCU) gathered here in Banjul.”
Speaking further, he said the West and Central Africa regions continue to be challenged by organised cross border crimes in trade in poor quality foods, medicaments, cosmetics, cigarettes, alcohol and products whose inferior quality are detrimental to human consumption. “While consumption of counterfeit products presents huge public health risks to our population, business in these industries continue to thrive and the cartels continue to profit on our vulnerable populations,” he added.
Animashawun Abimbola Oluwaseyl, a participant from Nigerian Customs, thanked the GRA for hosting the training.