Armed ViolenceNews

Former French Soldier Arrested In Bangui With Large Cache Of Arms

Juan Remy Quignolot, a former french soldier has been implicated in an arms storing and identity theft case in CAR.

A former french soldier who has been living in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, since 2013 was arrested after a large cache of arms was found in his house.

According to the State Prosecutor in the Bangui Appeal Court, Eric Didier Tombo, the French national, Juan Remy Quignolot who was arrested on Monday, May 10, by a national police squad and presented to the authorities and the media, had been impersonating as a consultant journalist.

“The truth is that the man had been one of the former instructors of the ex-Seleka coalition,” the State Prosecutor revealed.

“It was during a search in his house today, Monday May 10, 2021 around midday that the police seized an important war arsenal.” 

“It was a police operation. He is a man who was being followed by the police service. And today, the police demanded that the state prosecutor’s office give them an authorisation to search his house and we did give authorisation for the police to search the house.”

“We ourselves took part in this search and we found military materials, notably military fatigues, rangers, arms and ammunitions. We also found West African bank notes, dollars and euros. There are many arms and a lot of ammunition.”

“It would appear he is a military trainer, a consultant and also a journalist. According to police sources that briefed us, it would appear he was among the Seleka instructors.”

Tombo further  revealed that Juan Remy Quignolot and one of his compatriots were the ones who manipulated and activated the KM5 youths who went on rampage in Bangui last week.

Contacted while in police custody, Juan Remy refused to talk, insisting that he would only speak through his lawyer.

However, a civil society activist who declined to divulge his name warned of possible manipulation of evidence by the Russians who now consider the Central African Republic as their colony.

“All this arrest and display of arms might have been orchestrated by the Russians who have been doing everything possible to ensure that the French who are the former colonial masters of the Central African Republic are chased out of the country, leaving them a free hand to exploit the mineral wealth of the country,” the civil society activist declared.

“I say this because we recently witnessed such a situation where they manipulated the girlfriend of a French national to hide arms in the man’s house in his absence. Some minutes after the man’s return to his house, he was arrested by the police.” 

“The man is a former French soldier and he is actually in prison in Ngaragba right now. They have to be careful.”

Shortly after the arrest of Juan Remy, the Russian adviser to the Central African Republic head of state, Valery Zakharov, without waiting for an official announcement, went to town with the news on the social media declaring:

“A foreign citizen has been detained in Bangui today with an enormous quantity of arms and ammunition. An investigation is being carried out to clarify the circumstances.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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