Former Guinea-Bissau President’s Son Sentenced to Prison in the US

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Malam Bacai Sanha Jr., the son of a former president of Guinea-Bissau, has been sentenced to over six and a half years in prison for his involvement in a transnational heroin trafficking conspiracy, announced the US Justice Department on Tuesday.

According to the statement released by the US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Sanha Jr., aged 52, aimed to finance a coup in Guinea-Bissau, ultimately seeking his own presidency and the establishment of a “drugs regime” using the proceeds from the drug trafficking.

Describing Sanha Jr.’s role, Douglas Williams, the special agent in charge of the FBI Houston Field Office, emphasized that he wasn’t just an ordinary drug trafficker but a key figure in the conspiracy due to his familial ties and aspirations for political power.

Sanha Jr. was involved in organizing and leading the heroin trafficking operation, including its importation from Europe to the United States.

Guinea-Bissau has experienced a tumultuous history of military coups and democratic rule since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974. Sanha Jr.’s father, Malam Bacai Sanha, served as interim leader after a junta installed him in 1999, later winning the presidency in 2009. However, he passed away before completing his term in January 2012.

Sanha Jr., also known as “Bacaizinho” in Guinea-Bissau, has held various government positions, including serving as an economic advisor to his father.

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