Guinea-Bissau’s ex-navy chief arrested for drug trade

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The former chief of the navy in Guinea-Bissau has been arrested and is being transferred to the US, local media have reported.

Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was picked up on a boat in international waters near Cape Verde, a local broadcaster said.

He is described by the US as a kingpin in Guinea-Bissau's huge drugs trade.

The country is a staging post for gangs smuggling cocaine from Latin America to Europe.

According to a report by the broadcaster RTC in Cape Verde — the island state off the West Coast of Africa — US officials supported by Cape Verde police arrested Mr Na Tchuto and he is expected to face prosecution in the US.

He is among a number of military figures in Guinea-Bissau the US believes are heavily involved in the drugs trade.

US officials imposed a travel ban and asset-freeze on him in 2010.

Last year the United Nations Security Council warned that renewed political instability was allowing drug trafficking to flourish in Guinea-Bissau.

The country saw another military-backed coup in April last year, and the current transitional government does not have full international recognition. — BBC