The new government in The Gambia led by President Adama Barrow has been accused of condoning and benefiting from the illegal collection of stolen monies from Gamtel’s international gateway, through the exorbitant international call termination fees imposed on callers by greedy phone carriers, the Freedom Newspaper reports.
Over ten million United States dollars is usually accrued from the illegal practice monthly. The money goes into the pockets of corrupt Gamtel officials, government officials, private network carriers, and gateway hackers.
When Adama Barrow assumed the presidency, his Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh, summoned a press conference claiming that he has uncovered a smoking gun at Gamtel, the nation’s main telecommunication company - a press conference many believed was a tool to indict former dictator Yahaya Jammeh.
One hundred days into Barrow’s presidency, the same Gamtel international call termination fee scam has reared its head in his government. The Barrow government has been accused of accepting millions of dollars derived from the very scam that they earlier claimed was happening under Jammeh’s watch. This is a regime of contradictions. They are allegedly repeating the same corrupt practices that they accused Jammeh of.
''Gambia is one of the most expensive countries to call on earth today. It costs nothing less than 69 cents per minute to call the Gambia, when other West African countries call rates are much cheaper. The Gamtel scam is said to be a lucrative venture. It is enriching many officials in Banjul, including some private carriers. ''
“Gamtel’s gateway has been outsourced to a third-party company. The gateway is being managed by another company. The Barrow government is yet to severe ties with the said company. International callers are being exploited by these corrupt phone carriers. There is no indication to suggest that the Barrow government will stop the exploitation of callers. Fees are being jacked up in the name of enriching carriers at the expense of callers,” said a Gamtel insider.