A special agent of the National Intelligence Agency has been detained by Senegalese policeafter he was spotted at an anti-Jammeh protest in Dakar with a digital recording device and smartphones. Gibriel Kujabi is said to be in Dakar to monitor the activities of those living in exile and report back to Banjul. He was seen recording audio and taking photos and videos with his phones.

Special Agent Kujabi disguised himself as a protester. He is said to be stationed in the country’s embassy in Dakar. Gambian embassies in most parts of the world have intelligence and defense attachés.

Kujabi was taking pictures and recording protesters and officers that arrested him found two phones on him with implicating contents. He is likely to face espionage charges.

Kujabi and another NIA agent were recognized by some Gambian protesters. Kujabi was caught but the other unknown NIA escaped when approached by journalists.

Senegal not safe for Gambians

Gambians in Senegal have complained of high spy presence. At least two Gambians have been kidnapped in Senegal. Saul Ndow and Mahawa Cham, critics of President Yahya Jammeh went missing without a trace when they were on a visit in Cassamance. Their families have expressed concerns about their safe return amid reports that they were kidnapped by Jammeh loyalists in the region.

Ndow was a businessman who had backed President Jammeh during the early days of his regime but has been on the Gambia’s most wanted list after being implicated in a 2006 thwarted coup. Senegalese have been mute on their disappearance.

The Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency has been used by President Jammeh to intimidate citizens.

It is notorious for tortured and extra judicial executions. It is the most feared security agency in the country and only answerable to the president. The agency still operates under military decrees from the country transitional period after Jammeh took power in a 1994 coup.

Senegal is home to many Gambian refugees who said the country is not a safe haven for them. Most recently, a wanted naval chief and a tortured journalist from The Gambia escaped authorities in Banjul and have joined the growing Gambian refugee community that calls Dakar home.