Praia - The former head of Guinea-Bissau's navy, ex-rear
admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto, has been captured and sent to the United
States, which suspects him of drug trafficking, local media and sources said
late on Thursday.
"Bubo Na Tchuto has been captured in international
waters" near Cape Verde during an operation by "north American and
Cape Verdian" police, the public television station RTC reported, adding
that "he has already been sent to the United States".
Na Tchuto has been on a US list of suspected drug barons
In Guinea Bissau, the head of the national radio, Carlos
Gomes Nhafe, a friend of Na Tchuto, told AFP that he had received a phone call
from the former navy chief, who told him about the arrest.
"He called me this [Thursday] morning from Sal, in Cape
Verde, to tell me he had been arrested and that he is en route to the United
States," said Gomes Nhafe.
No military official in Bissau would comment on the matter.
An intelligence officer in Bissau, speaking on condition of
anonymity, told AFP that the ex-rear admiral was "captured by American
Na Tchuto was accused of being the leader of a coup attempt
in December 2011. He was arrested and later released with 18 others in June
last year on orders of the country's current army chief, General Antonio
Guinea-Bissau has suffered chronic instability since
independence from Portugal in 1974 due to conflict between the army and state.
Drug traffickers have turned the small and poor west African
country into a transit point for cocaine between Latin America and Europe.