As the Gambia’s diplomatic passports saga rumbles on, it has emerged that the Barrow government issued a total of 1,026 diplomatic passports in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The data was released by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Momodou Tangara on Tuesday at the National Assembly while responding to a question by the Kombo South MP, Kebba Barrow.

Mr Tangara told the parliamentarians: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued in 2017, 578 diplomatic passports and 320 service passports.

“In 2018, we issued 448 diplomatic passports and 333 service passports.”

No details were given as to the names, positions or people that were issued with diplomatic passports in 2017 and 2018. The figure is reportedly too high for a small country like The Gambia with a modest diplomatic presence around the world.

However several government officials have been arrested in Banjul over their alleged criminal actions in the sale of diplomatic passports to unauthorised individuals including foreign nationals with shady characters.

The Attorney General and minister of Justice is the only high profile government official to have been implicated in the diplomatic saga after a leaked government letter showed that he had applied for diplomatic passports for his wife, his sisters and mother, stepmother respectively.

He had denied any wrongdoing and rebuffed calls for him to step down over nepotism and abuse of office allegations.

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