A man arrested in Guinea Bissau following the seizure of nearly 800 kg of cocaine from a fish truck is an adviser to the speaker in Niger’s parliament, judicial police in Guinea Bissau said.
The 789 kg stash was the largest ever seized in Guinea Bissau, a former Portuguese colony on the Atlantic Coast long a major trans-shipment point for Latin American cocaine headed to Europe.
Guinea Bissau police arrested four individuals near Safim including Mohamed Sidi Ahmed, an adviser to Nigerien parliament speaker Ousseini Tinni, said Domingos Monteiro, deputy director of the judicial police.
Sidi Ahmed was carrying an ID card for the National Assembly of Niger. He appeared before the public prosecutor and remains in detention, Monteiro said.
It was not immediately possible to contact Sidi Ahmed’s lawyer. A spokeswoman for Tinni was not available for comment. The identities of the three other individuals arrested were not immediately clear.
Judicial police said seizure of the drugs near Safim was the result of a four-month intelligence operation. The largest prior cocaine seizure in Guinea Bissau was 650 kg in 2007.
The United Nations said last year Africa and Asia were becoming cocaine trafficking and consumption hubs. Guinea Bissau’s mix of weak law enforcement and maze of islands and unpoliced mangroves helped make it a smuggler’s haven.