A drug-trafficking operation between the West African nation of Guinea Bissau and Colombia was dismantled by international authorities on Thursday, April 4.
Authorities of several nations including the United States, Colombia, Guinea Bissau, and Portugal collaborated to arrest two Colombian nationals, and five others from Guinea Bissau including the operation ringleader. The illegal operation sought to use the African nation as a storage area for cocaine shipments in exchange for weapons that reportedly would have been provided to Colombia’s leftist FARC rebels, including surface-to-air missiles.
The two Colombian suspects, Rafael Garavito and Gustavo Perez were arrested with the help of Narcotics Division of Colombian Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Colombia’s capital of Bogota. Other suspects including the ‘ring-leader’ and ex-commander of Guinea Bissau’s Navy, Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto were captured near their African nation by U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) special task forces.
The two Colombian nationals are awaiting extradition and have a host of charges including conspiracy to engage in narco-terrorism and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to an FTO. Both charges carry a life-sentence in prison. The Guinea Bissau nationals have already been extradited where they will await sentencing.
- Operation Press Release (Department of Justice)
- Capturan enlaces de Farc que intercambiarian droga por misiles tierra-aire (El Espectador)
- DEA breaks up suspected Colombia/ Guinea-Bissau drug ring (Washington Times)