The Gambia Ports Authority has sanctioned an undisclosed number of staff members in connection with a missing 60 million dalasi in its coffers, reliable sources have informed Gambiana

According to sources the missing money related to irregular financial transactions and missing invoices sent to shipping agencies for transactions at the port.

The management of Gambia Port Authority (GPA) has started recovery proceedings against the sanctioned staff members, the sources added.

Ousman Jobarteh, managing director of Gambia Ports Authority, had confirmed that some of their staff were sanctioned for financial improprieties.

He told West Coast radio station in a telephone interview over the weekend that: “when the initial findings were reported we took the matter up and did our own internal investigations and some of the personnel found to be wanting accepted their part of the inconsistency (in the invoicing of transactions).

Ousman Jobarteh, managing director of The Gambia Ports Authority

“The people involved in this case have been sanctioned in line with the provision of our service rule and the legal provision.”

He clarified that “(it’s not like money were taken out of the coffers per say but these were invoicing irregularities and the people involved have been informed and they have admitted (their roles in the missing) money that are due and liable to be paid back to the Gambia Ports Authority. (We will) duly recover all the missing money.”

According to the managing director, there audit findings revealed irregularities in certain financial transactions specifically invoices that were sent to shipping agencies for services that were rendered by the GPA.

He said he would take measures to avert such financial improprieties from happening again at the Gambia Ports Authority.

The Gambia Ports Authority is the one of the country’s most successful parastatals and generates millions of dalasi from freight and shipping. It also manages the country’s ferry services.

It has faced accusations of corruption and financial improprieties in the recent past which the management had consistently denied.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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