By Frederic Tendeng
Guinea Bissau’s Army Chief of Staff, Jose Zamora Induta, has confirmed the existence of evidence indicating that drug traffickers are once again using his country’s territory as base for international drug trafficking. Zamora Induta was speaking on Sunday after a military operation launched by the Quebo Southern Base Battalion which aborted a suspected drug dealers’ manoeuvred in the areas of Madina de Baixo, Praia de Gã-Tumané, about a hundred miles from Empara Town in the region of Quinara. The military operation which took place between Monday 25th and Wednesday 27th January, reportedly led to the arrest of eight individuals identified as one Iraqi, a Tunisian national, two German nationals and two Bissau Guineans, one of whom is a senior officer in the country’s Presidential Security Service. Zamora Induta disclosed that the operation was a result of a two week regular surveillance of the Quinara Region, following information indicating that an unidentified aircraft was seen flying in the area. International drug cartels have taken advantage of the political instability, the high level of corruption within the state’s security apparatus and the poor level of control the country’s security has over its boarders to make it a base for operation and distribution of narcotics around the world. Observers believe that the weakened state of Guinea Bissau makes it largely unprepared and unfit to fight the sophisticated means usually deployed by the drug traffickers. In this regard, Zamora Induta said he is “aware that the arrest and detention of suspected drug traffickers is not the mission assigned to military personnel”. But he added, “The intervention of the army is a necessity as Guinea Bissau lacks adequate structures to cope with drug trafficking networks”. Zamora Induta also regretted the involvement in the trafficking of individuals linked to the State. The suspected drug traffickers are still in custody under the care of Guinea Bissau’s military authorities. The two German nationals have denied any involvement in the drug trafficking allegations and claimed to be journalists of the German news service Deutsche Welle. They argued that they were on tourist trip to the country. Meanwhile, military personnel seized a light aircraft carrying suspected narcotics in the early afternoon of Friday, December 29, in Bubaque, an area of the Bijagos archipelago. No information as regards the origin of the plane or the crew of the aircraft has yet emerged. The matter has however been referred to the country’s Attorney General, who has ordered an investigation into it.
Int’l drug trafficking resurges in G/Bissau
By Frederic Tendeng