The U.S. Department of State has on Thursday announced a $5 million reward for any information leading to the arrest or conviction of António Indjai, former military junta leader and former head of the Guinea-Bissau Armed Forces.
General António Indjai has been under United Nations sanctions and travel ban since May 2012, following a coup d’état he staged in April of the same year against the democratically elected government of Guinea-Bissau.
Former Guine-Bissau Navy Commander Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto helped Antonio Indjai stage his successful military coup d’état. Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was Yahya Jammeh’s old buddy too. In 2009, Bubo Na Tchuto spent the whole year hiding and conducting his drug trafficking business in The Gambia after he escaped arrest in Bissau as he was suspected of leading a failed 2008 coup d’état.
During his stay in The Gambia, Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto Bubo benefited from former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s protection. The Gambia police force gave bubo Na Tchuto two bodyguards under former IGP Yankuba Sonko until his return to Bissau after a deal Yahya Jammeh negotiated through the Angolan government intermediaries. However, in April 2013, Na Tchuto was lured into a trap and got arrested by the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency agents.
Bubo Na Tchuto made a plea bargain under which he disclosed valuable information on international drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau by Antonio Injai and the military.
According to a statement released Thursday by Former US intelligence officer now spokesman for the United States Department of State, Ned Price, António Indjai “led a criminal organization that actively participated in drug trafficking in Guinea-Bissau and the West African region for many years, even while leading the Guinean Armed Forces.”
“António Indjai was seen as one of Guinea-Bissau’s most powerful destabilizing figures, operating freely throughout West Africa, using illegal revenues to corrupt and destabilize other foreign governments and undermine the rule of law throughout the region,” the statement
The State Department points out an indictment made in January 2013 that specifies how in the summer of 2012, sources from the U.S. anti-drug trafficking agency DEA (Drug Enforcement and Administration) began contacts with António Indjai and associates in Guinea-Bissau.
“Between June and November 2012, António Indjai agreed to receive and store several tons of cocaine that allegedly belonged to the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) to sell for the benefit of the FARC”, the statement said.
The State Department said António Indjai and his associates “agreed that part of the cocaine received would be used to pay Guinea-Bissau government officials.”
“In addition, Indjai and his associates agreed to buy weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles for the FARC, using drug money, and established a shell company in Guinea-Bissau to complete illicit arms transactions, further destabilizing West Africa and Latin America,” he said.
The State Department points out that Indjai has been “charged with conspiracy to narcoterrorism, conspiracy to import cocaine, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and conspiracy to acquire and transfer anti-aircraft
The $5 million reward on the arrest or conviction of Antonio Injai is offered by the State Department’s Narcotics Rewards Program.