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Guinea-Bissau ex-president's son jailed in US for trafficking drugs to fund coup

According to official statements, Sanha Jr played a pivotal role in the conspiracy, overseeing the heroin’s journey from Europe to American soil.

Malam Bacai Sanha was Guinea-Bissau's president between 1999-2000, and 2009-2012 [Guardian]

At 52 years old, Sanha Jr aimed to overthrow the government of the West African nation to establish a regime founded on drug money. This plot was intended to catapult him to the presidency, as disclosed by the US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

Douglas Williams, the FBI Houston Field Office’s special agent in charge, highlighted the unique motivations behind Sanha Jr’s criminal activities.

“Malam Bacai Sanha Jr. was not just another drug trafficker on the international scene. He leveraged his familial connections, aiming to finance a coup with the profits from his illicit trade,” Williams stated.

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According to official statements, Sanha Jr played a pivotal role in the conspiracy, overseeing the heroin’s journey from Europe to American soil.

His arrest occurred in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in July 2022, alongside an accomplice. Both were swiftly extradited to the United States for prosecution.

In a court proceeding in September 2023, Sanha Jr admitted his guilt to charges of conspiring to distribute and unlawfully import controlled substances, leading to his 80-month prison sentence.

This case throws a spotlight on Guinea-Bissau’s turbulent political landscape, marked by a series of military coups and brief interludes of democratic governance since its independence from Portugal in 1974.

Despite this instability, no elected leader had managed to complete a full term until recently.

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Malam Bacai Sanha, Sanha Jr’s father, briefly led the country as an interim leader after a junta’s installation in 1999, though he was unsuccessful in the subsequent election.

He later secured the presidency in 2009 but passed away in 2012 before his term ended. Known affectionately as “Bacaizinho” in his home country, Sanha Jr has held several governmental positions, including economic advisor to his father, showcasing a complex intertwining of political ambition and criminal endeavours.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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