(JollofNews) – Two Gambian born naturalised US citizens who went missing while on a trip to the Gambia in 2013 have died in state custody, their families have confirmed.

Alhagie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe are said to have been killed by security officers of the previous regime of President Yahya Jammeh.

“To everyone who have supported and prayed for Alhaji Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, it is with a heavy heart that I relay to you that they have returned to their Creator,” Alhaji Mamut Ceesay’s sister, Olay Ceesay said.

“This has been a long journey which began on 23rd June 2013, but through it all every one of you have felt the pain, prayed and encouraged us as a family to have hope, and for that we say thank you!”

Ceesay and Jobe arrived in the Gambia in May 2013 to start a business and provide employment opportunities to youths.

But according to eye-witness accounts reported to the US State Department and the FBI, their vehicle was stopped at a security checkpoint in Burusubi while travelling back from a music concert on the night of  22nd June 2013.

According to their families, the two friends were asked to get out of the car by the officers who placed them in handcuffs and threw  them in the back of a pick-up truck. They were later taken to a private apartment that they rented, which was ‘completely’ ransacked before they were transported to headquarters of the feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in Banjul. They have not been heard or seen ever since.

Olay Ceesay added: “This is their fate as well as many others that have lost their life through this ordeal and they are all in a better place. I cannot begin to describe the type of people my brother and his best friend are; they are humble, sincere, kindhearted, loving, honest. The best brother, cousin, son, friend, dad and of course husbands!”

While the whereabouts of their bodies is unknown, their families will next Sunday hold a funeral prayer for them in Latrikunda German and have invited all Gambians to pay their respect and prayers for them.