ALL SEVEN Slovaks who were detained in Africa in early September under suspicion of preparing a coup in the Central African Republic have had their passports returned. Their passports had earlier been held, even after they were released from custody following confirmation of their claim that they were hunters legally holding the required licenses, the SITA newswire reported.
The seven Slovaks were detained by the country’s army on September 1 in the south-western part of the Central African Republic under suspicion of being mercenaries and revolutionaries. Although they were released two days later they were not given their passports back at the time.
Soldiers detained the men as they were loading two crates of weapons and munitions onto a pickup truck. They were disarmed and driven to the capital city of Bangui, where they were confined in cells at the army headquarters.
The men had arrived in the Central African Republic legally approximately two weeks before. Initial reports stated that they were investors into the forestry and agriculture industries. Later, reports surfaced that that they were mercenaries aiming to destabilise the situation in the country.
After their detention, it was confirmed that they were really hunters and that they held the proper licenses required for hunting.
13. Sep 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff