Published on : 11/02/2022 – 02:21
Guinea-Bissau’s president on Thursday accused three men linked to drug cartels of being responsible for the February 1 coup attempt. José Americo Bubo Na Tchuto, Tchamy Yala and Papis Djemé, who served time in prison in New York, were arrested.
The president of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Cissoco Embalo accused, Thursday, February 10, a former chief of the national navy and two other men arrested in the past by the American anti-drug agency of being behind what he presents as the attempted coup State aborted from 1is February.
President Embalo cited to the press the names of ex-Rear Admiral José Americo Bubo Na Tchuto, head of the navy during the first decade of the 2000s, Tchamy Yala, also a former officer, and Papis Djemé. All were arrested after the events of 1is February, said the Head of State.
He presented the coup de force of the 1is February as directly linked to drug trafficking. Guinea-Bissau, a small poor country of about 2 million people in West Africa, is considered a hub for cocaine trafficking from Latin America. In a country where remunerative positions are rare and disputed, many members of the armed forces, ubiquitous, are believed to be involved in trafficking.
“I’m not saying that it’s the politicians who are behind this, but the hand that bears arms are people who are linked to the big drug cartels”, declared President Embalo, before quoting the names of the three men.
The latter had been arrested in April 2013 by agents of the American anti-drug services (DEA) aboard a boat in international waters off the West African coast. According to American justice, they had negotiated in the previous months, with American investigators posing as representatives of South American drug traffickers, the importation into Guinea-Bissau of cocaine which would then have been redistributed in North America or in Europe.
José Americo Bubo Na Tchuto had been designated as a drug lord by the US Treasury. He was sentenced in 2016 to four years in prison in New York. Tchamy Yala and Papis Djemé were sentenced in 2014, also in New York, to five and six and a half years in prison. They have since returned to Guinea-Bissau.
President Embalo reported that while he was stuck inside the Government Palace and the fighting raged outside, “Bubo was already at the Navy headquarters and in military uniform.” “At some point, I heard one of the attackers say, ‘Wait, we’ll call him to send us reinforcements’.”