No French pilot supplying weapons to bandits arrested in Niger [Updated]

Juan Remy Quignolot

Juan Remy Quignolot

No French pilot named Juan Remy Quignolot, has been arrested by the Nigerian army in Niger state in connection with arms supplies to the rampaging bandits and terrorists.

The news about the arrest, as being shared on social media platforms is fake.

The Police in Niger state have also debunked the arrest.

Commissioner of Police, Monday Bala Kurya, said no French armorer was arrested with helicopter, in any part of the state .

” We have not arrested any foreign national with helicopter distributing weapons to bandits in our area of supervision”, he said.

He called on members of the general public to disregard such report and support the police with required information that could aid in apprehending men of underworld in the state .

Contrary to the fake news, P.M.NEWS found that Juan Remy Quignolot, a French man of Tunisian heritage was nabbed in May 2021 in Bangui, Central African Republic.

The 56 year-old man was arrested with a cache of sophisticated weapons in his apartment, said to be for Seleka rebels in the country.

Quignolot, who was a mercenary, claims to be a journalist and humanitarian worker.

Anadolu news agency, which reported his arrest wrote:

“The ammunition was found at the home of Juan Remy Quignolot, a former French soldier who has lived in the capital Bangui for several years, according to local news platform Corbeaunews-Centrafrique.

“Police reports say Quignolot once trained fighters of the former Seleka coalition. But now, he presents himself as a consultant journalist in Bangui, according to Eric Didier Tombo, the attorney general of the Bangui Court of Appeal,

“This is a police operation. This is a man who was followed by the police department,” he said adding that the police had requested prosecutors order that Quignolot’s home be searched”.

“From the police sources we have had, it seems that in 2013, he was one of the Seleka supervisors,” Tombo added.

Valery Zakharov, a security adviser to President Faustin-Archange Touadera, tweeted: “A foreign citizen was detained in Bangui today [Monday] with a huge amount of arms and ammunition. An investigation is underway and the circumstances need to be clarified.”

The Seleka coalition was an alliance of rebel militia groups that seized power in the Central African Republic in 2013. After its official dissolution in September 2013, the remaining rebel groups came to be known as ex-Seleka.

Seleka leader Michel Djotodia became the nation’s president from March 2013 until his resignation in January 2014.

On 9 June, 2021, the CAR’s Attorney General Eric Didier Tambo said Quignolot had been charged with espionage, illegal possession of military and hunting weapons, criminal association, harming domestic state security and conspiracy.

He made no reference to any country or organisation for whom Quignolot allegedly worked, but said any trial would take place within six months.

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