Drug trafficking in Bissau: The seized cocaine has vanished

Seven suspects appeared in court in Bissau on Thursday in a 980 kg drug seizure case, almost all of which has disappeared since the major catch in November, according to the director of the judicial police.

“Last November, 980 kg were seized by the police, but 975 kg have simply disappeared into thin air. It is presumed that it was elements of the security and defense forces who seized this quantity of cocaine,” Domingos Monteiro, the director of the judicial police, told the press on Thursday.

A police officer was arrested and implicated in this case, said Monteiro without further details.

Meanwhile, according to a judicial source, a total of nine suspects were to appear Thursday in the seizure case, but only seven of them were present in the trial.

The fate of the other two suspects had not been specified on Thursday.

Instability and poverty have encouraged drug traffickers in the West African country, a former Portuguese colony, who are protected by senior military officers.

In September 2019, a record seizure of about two tons of cocaine had taken place in the north of the country. Twelve suspects, three Colombians, one Mexican, one Malian, and seven Bissau-Guineans had been arrested.

On February 1, Guinea-Bissau was the scene of the umpteenth coup de force in its troubled history since independence from Portugal in 1974.

The Palace of Government, the seat of the ministries, was attacked that day by armed men while the president and members of the government were holding a council of ministers.

The president was unharmed after hours of gunfire that left 11 people dead, according to the government.