Guinea-Bissau ex-navy chief held in New York

The former navy chief of Guinea-Bissau was being held in New York and due to go before a judge Friday after being arrested on international cocaine trafficking allegations, officials said.

A spokesman for the Manhattan federal prosecutor's office told AFP that Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was in custody in the city, where he was brought after a high seas arrest. "His arraignment will be today," the spokesman said.

The indictment against Na Tchuto -- better known as Bubo in his homeland -- and two other defendants, Papis Djeme and Tchamy Yala, says they were middlemen in a huge drug smuggling operation originating in Latin America.

It alleges they "worked together to receive ton-quantities of cocaine, transported by vessel from South America to Guinea Bissau, and then to store the cocaine in Guinea Bissau before its shipment to other locations, including the United States."