Two Gambian residents of Angola were arrested few weeks ago at the ‘Fourth February Airport’ in Luanda with cash in the region of US$7 million by the Angolan authorities, impeccable sources cited The Gambia’s Honorary Consul in Angola, Haggi Jawara, as saying.
Sources also quoted Mr Jawara as saying the money, which was in US dollar, was confiscated from the two prominent businessmen while trying to travel to Hong Kong on November 28 this year for business.
The Gambia consul added that the two, currently in detention, are expected to be released next week after his personal plea to the Angolan authorities.
Over the years, Hong Kong, a former colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War in 1839 to 1842, has become a commercial centre for entrepreneurs and business peopled from mainly developing countries.
As one of the world's leading international financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, ‘Hong Kong Dollar’, is the eighth most traded currency in the world.
Many business gurus on the African continent are now looking into Hong Kong’s market, an important centre for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asian-Pacific region.
MarketPlace has learned that the incidence, in which the two Gambians were involved, is one of hundreds of incidences happening on daily basis in the continent. And most of these incidences are directed toward the Asian giants – Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Hong Kong unlike other competitors in the Asian-Pacific region is a country that has maintained a high laissez-faire system of capitalism and developed capitalist economy, ranking it the freest in the world by the ‘Index of Economic Development’, for fifteen consecutive times.
And as Jawara revealed, another group of 54 people, including Gambians, were also arrested, but later “released after several negotiations with the Angolan authorities”.
According to Hon. Jawara, in the Southern African country, travelling with a huge amount of cash as was done by the two Gambians, “contravenes the laws of Angola, which allows a person to travel with no more than US$15, 000”.
“But my plea to the Angolan authorities has been successful,” Jawara said. “The 54 people who were arrested in connection with the cash are already released and I am expecting the two [arrested at the February 4th Airport], who are both Gambians, to be released soon.”
GAMBIANS SEEKING GREENER PASTURES IN POLICE NET
As marketplace has been informed, some Gambians were also recently arrested by the Angolan authorities at the border between Angola and the DR CONGO, for entering into the southern African country without “valid documents”.
Since Angola’s civil war ended in 2002, the central government has pulled its socks up to create economic development, making it the world highest GDP growth in the period 2001 to 2010.
Angola has a rich subsoil heritage, from diamonds, oil, gold, copper, as well as a rich wildlife (dramatically impoverished during the civil war), forest, and fossils. Since independence, oil and diamonds have been the most important economic resource.
However, as the quest for money becomes more and more intense, Gambians who are unable to make life easy by keeping their nose to the grindstone, have found their ways to the Northern, Central and Southern Africa territory, across the vast savannah, mountains, and wilderness to Congo, Angola.
This adventure is often met with numerous arrests and harassment of immigrants by border patrol police. This is why Jawara has been calling on Gambians to caution in their urge to use Angola as a transit point. “If they [Gambians] are going they must ensure that they are having valid documents to allow them easy access and entry in Angola.
Whilst talking about his unwavering attempt to “negotiate for their release”, The Gambian Consul also called on Gambians abroad to always be law-abiding.Authored by Amat Jeng