Claim: Modou Mbowe, the primary suspect of phone theft in N’Yofelleh village, is a police officer.
Verdict: True. According to Cadet ASP Muhammed Darboe, the Deputy Public Relations Officer (PRO) of The Gambia Police Force, Modou Mbowe, is a police driver.
The identity of a phone thief suspect arrested in the village of N’Yofelleh in The Gambia has become a controversial subject.
Modou Mbowe is in custody due to phone theft, but people are sceptical about his identity as an officer of the law. He was arrested with what looked like a police ID card in his possession with his picture embossed on it.
After his arrest, What’s On – Gambia published a news item with the headline: “Police officer caught stealing mobile phone.”
The report features a video where the suspect could be heard saying, “I am not a regimented officer. I took the phone to my car and later returned it.”
The news had attracted about 1.2k engagements, 435 comments, and 22 shares at the time of conducting this fact-check. While some people expressed shock over the report, others claimed the suspect was an imposter.
A Facebook user Paa Amady Jallow wrote, “This suspect is personating as a police officer, which is a serious crime.”
Given the controversy over the suspect’s identity, DUBAWA decided to investigate it.
DUBAWA contacted the police for clarification. Cadet ASP Muhammed Darboe, the Deputy Police Spokesperson, confirmed that the accused is a member of The Gambia Police Force.
“This is our man. He is part of The Gambia Police Force. He is one of the ten recently approved as an officer. He works at the police garage as a driver.
“He is now detained at Sifoe Police Station and is helping the police in the investigation. He was assessed and found to be worthy as a police driver; that is why the entire allegation involving his name was a huge shock to the police,” Darboe said.
The Police Deputy PRO explained that the suspect is not above the law because he is an officer and that they are taking the investigations very seriously to ensure justice is served.
“After the investigations, the matter will be taken to court, and if he is found guilty, the court will decide his jail term. The police will not keep someone who is not abiding by the code of ethics,” he assured.
According to DUBAWA’s investigation, Modou Mbowe, the primary suspect in the phone theft, is a police driver and is currently detained at Sifoe Police Station.
”The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with (The Fatu Network) Daily Trust to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.”