By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Mr. Malick Jabbie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Gassama Travels Agency operating from Barcelona, Spain with an outlet in the Gambia at Churchill Town, has accused a particular Gambian Diplomat in Barcelona for soliciting bribery from him and his agency in order to get clearance for him to hire a chartered flight from Barcelona to Banjul to air lift stranded Spanish residential permit holders back to Spain amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The stranded passengers are Gambians who came for holidays and got stuck in Banjul due to the pandemic.
On Friday 19th June 2020, the airline agent in the Gambia Mr. Hamidou Jabbie was arrested by the officers of Tallinding Police station after angry would be travels stormed the station and lodged a complaint of fraud against the airline after the failure of their flight on two schedule dates, 16th and 19th June respectively.
The said chartered flight is ‘air Iberia’ through “Europa Travel.” Almost 200 travelers had paid D39, 900 each for a ticket.
Talking to CEO Jabbie from his Barcelona office, said he has good intentions to assist fellow Gambians to return to Spain before their travel documents expire or lost their jobs. Operating for 10 years within West Africa, Jabbie said his dilemma with the clients started when he was refused clearance by a Gambian diplomat in Barcelona for his company to airlift stranded Gambians from Banjul. He vows to name and shame the said diplomat any time he comes to the Gambia.
Jabbie alleges that the said diplomat’s refusal to issue him a clearance without bribery causes the failure of the chartered flight to fly to Banjul. Adding that he has no choice but to divert the said flight to Bamako to evacuate stranded Malians to Spain.
Jabbie said he had already refunded 75 percent of the tickets bought from his airline. Indicating a payment of 20, 000 Euros to Europa Travel who had already secured air Iberia flight for his company, but due to what he call “betrayal and corrupt manner from a Gambian diplomat” that the schedule dates could not be materialised.
Going further, Jabbie said his company has now secured another flight from air Iberia schedule to arrive in Banjul on 26th June to airlift the remaining of their clients that did not ask for reimbursement. He also indicated that even those that were refunded are coming back to rebook with them due to the fact that his company is the only one concern about the plight of the Gambians and are doing all they can to help get them back to Spain on time.
He assured clients that the 26th June flight schedule is already confirmed and that the Spanish Embassy in Dakar is aware of the developments. He calls on clients and the Gambia authorities to contact the Spanish Embassy for confirmation.
Chief Executive Officer Malick Jabbie calls on the Police to let go his sales agent Hamidou Jabbie who since on 19th June, has been reporting to Police on bail on allegation of fraud.
The irritated CEO reaffirmed that he is a bona fide and proud Gambian and his company has never been involved in any form of fraud or corruption.