Monday, December 4, 2023

SEMLEX country rep. accuses ASP Baldeh of conspiring to sell The Gambia’s ID database to Ghanaian cyber security firm

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By: Alieu Jallow

A former Gambian international referee, Momodou Sowe, who is also SEMLEX’s country representative, has made serious allegations against Assistant Superintendent of Police Sanna K Baldeh, an IT officer working on the Semlex project in Gambia. He claimed that Baldeh was conspiring to sell Gambia’s national identification database to a Ghanaian cyber security firm, Ramsys InfoTech Solutions, based in Accra.

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Sowe stated that the Ghanaian firm recently visited Gambia and met with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Hon. Ousman A. Bah. The firm funded Bah’s trip to Ghana to familiarize himself with their management and explore possible collaborations.

According to Sowe, ASP Baldeh was introduced to the firm through the minister as a focal person and has since been communicating with them. Baldeh proposed a training program, but when the firm privately called him for advice on accessing the server backup system, their attempts failed. Sowe claimed that after several unsuccessful attempts to hack into the Semlex server, the company decided to offer a free training program on cybercrime and transnational crimes.

The training program was scheduled to take place from 8th to 22nd September 2023 at the SEMLEX head office in Kanifing, in a hall close to the backup server. In a letter he claimed to have intercepted through his insiders addressed to ASP Baldeh, the objective of the training was to equip participants with emerging cybercrimes.

“This programme is designed to equip participants with emerging trends of cybercrime, the domain of cyber security, and the impacts of cyber security threats on institutions and national security at large. The course will examine the nexus between cyber criminality and other transnational crimes as well as countermeasures to mitigate cyber threats.

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“The program will equip participants with tools and techniques to protect and secure cyber systems/infrastructures. Participants shall also be introduced to cyber governance mechanisms and best practices,” the letter reads.

Sowe asserted that the company was going to offer ASP Baldeh 15% of the revenue generated from their donors and partners.

The company will give him 15% if he helps them secure the contract. All training of staff is handled by SEMLEX which Baldeh is quite aware of which is periodically fixed,” he alleged.

He claimed that ASP Baldeh was part of the Gambian delegation to Brussels as part of the training sessions provided for in the BOT (Built, Operate, Transfer) contract with the Gambia, a claim we fact-checked to be true.

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Two attempts were made to contact ASP Baldeh and the acting Police PRO. ASP Baldeh directed us to the PRO but later sent two contradictory messages. “You [are] speaking to the wrong person. [I] am not working with Immigration,” he wrote, and in his second message “[I] am at the hospital, you [are] calling the wrong number”.

Initially, the acting Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Modou Musa Sisawo, stated that he was not aware of any security firm proposing to train the Police. He requested a copy of the proposal addressed to ASP for further investigation with the high command.

After following up with ASP Modou Musa Sisawo, he informed us that the letter sent to ASP Sanna K Baldeh was not formal and did not pass through the Inspector of General Police. He also confirmed that ASP and the cyber security team could not hold the the training as planned .

The Fatu Network could not reach Ramsys InfoTech Solutions for comments.

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