Three Cameroonian-Americans Risk 38 Years in Prison for Sponsoring Violence in Cameroon

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Three US citizens of Cameroonian origin are at risk of 38 years in prison for being accused of supporting violence in Cameroon.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday the arrest and initial court appearance of Messrs. Claude Chi, 40; Francisco Chenyi, 49; Lah Langmi, 46.

“Three defendants were arrested today and made their initial court appearances in connection with an indictment, unsealed today,” the statement said.

He noted that they are being charged for their role in a conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a conspiracy to kidnap people and use weapons of mass destruction in a foreign country.

“If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of up to 15 years in prison for the material support charges, up to three years in prison for receiving money from a ransom demand charge, and up to 20 years in prison for money laundering. conspiracy charge,” the US Department of Justice said.

They are defendants in a four-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 18.

“The federal indictment alleges that Messrs. Chi, Chenyi and Langmi have supported and raised funds for separatist fighters in Cameroon since January 1, 2018. As alleged, they each held high-level positions within an organization who supported and led the separatist militant group known as the Ambazonian Restoration Forces and other separatist fighters in the northwestern region of Cameroon,” the US said.

Funds raised and how?

According to the indictment, they allegedly solicited and raised funds for equipment, supplies, weapons, and explosive materials to be used in attacks against the Cameroonian government and its friends.

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Commenting on how the funds were raised, he said “through online chat applications and payment platforms from individuals located in the United States and abroad.”

And transferred from various financial and cryptocurrency accounts controlled by the defendants through intermediaries to the separatist fighters to support the attacks in Cameroon.

In addition to more than $350,000 raised through voluntary donations, the defendants conspired with others to kidnap Caneroonians for ransom and extort their relatives in the US to pay.

The ransom payments were later transferred to the separatist fighters to finance their operations.

In addition, the defendants drafted a document that included a list of expenses related to improvised explosive devices (IEDs), firearms, and ammunition.

Other expenses included funds related to the kidnapping of Cardinal Christian Tumi and a Cameroonian traditional leader named Sehm Mbinglo II on November 5, 2020.

Charges against you

They are charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources intended to be used to carry out a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.

One count of providing material support or resources intended to be used to carry out a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction outside of the United States.

In addition, they are charged with one count of receiving money from a ransom demand and one count of participating in a money laundering conspiracy.

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