In our last encounter, we began to outline the Yundum Highway Robbery, the largest cash heist in the Gambia in 1980. We explained how three bandits hijacked bank officials who were transporting a large amount of cash along the Yundum High way towards the Airport. We stopped at the point where the bank officials called the police to notify them about the theft.
Reports of the theft stunned the police, sending it into a crisis situation. In response, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Mass Jarra mobilised his lieutenants; MB Khan, assistant commissioner of Police and Commander Ousman Nicol, the head of CID, for a State House visit to brief the Vice President about the massive theft of CFA and the hunt for the suspect/suspects. However, before the police top brass left for the vice president’s office, news had already began trickling in that a suspect had contacted police officer Sgt Njie about the money, and was preparing to surrender. Nonetheless, the Commissioner of Police went ahead with the scheduled visit to State House to brief the Vice President. At the same time, Commander Nicol, head of CID was instructed by Commissioner Mass Jarra to mobilise a strong manpower for the mission to apprehend the suspect and recover the money, and escort both the suspect/suspects and the recovered cash back to the police station. Commander Nicol was ordered to use two vehicles for the operation. One vehicle to transport the suspect/suspects while the second vehicle to carry the tactical support team that will provide backup for the operation. The plan was going to be executed after the top brass return from briefing the vice president about the theft.
Meanwhile, at police headquarters where all the planning was taking place, a senior police officer was hatching an entirely different plan. Chief Inspector Abdoulie Joof, decided to develop his alternative plan that was not only tantamount to insubordination, but borderline criminal. As the top police brass depart police headquarters for the vice president’s office at state house, Chief Inspector Joof set his own plan into motion. He took the private vehicle of MB Khan, the Acting Assistant Commissioner Of Police, and then asked Sgt Momodou Njie to join him and they drove away secretly to Kanifing to recover the stolen money.
Suddenly, drama unfolded in the briefing room as Commander Ousman Nicol of CID had just started briefing his officers and men to prepare them for the mission to go arrest the suspects and recover the stolen money. Unknown to Commander Nicol and the men he was briefing at the time was the fact that Chief Inspector Abdoulie Joof and Sgt Njie had quietly sneaked out of police headquarters on their own to execute the same mission. In a stunning dramatic fashion, Chief Inspector Abdoulie Joof stormed into the briefing room saying; “I told you to wait, i have the money” The surprised Commander Nicol responded, “What Money?” That answer from Chief Inspector Abdoulie Joof to Commander Ousman Nicol and other questions about Inspector Joof behaviour, will be discussed in our next edition of encounter. So keep following.
Editor’s Note; If you have any information relevant to this 1980 theft of CFA in the Gambia, the editor would like to hear from you. Thank you in advance.