YAOUNDE - Cameroon's military says three of five men recently arrested by Togolese police and portrayed by Togolese media as notorious criminals who committed serious offenses against Togolese citizens are Cameroonian soldiers, while the other two are former convicts. The three military men stole weapons from the military headquarters in Yaounde and went to Togo's capital, Lome, where they used the weapons to harass Togolese, according to Togolese police.
Cameroonian military spokesperson Atonfack Guemo says investigations by the military indicate that Ntanga Clement Didier Mogo, Oumarou Abdou Fadil and Ewoundjo Elle Serge Hubert, who were arrested in Lome for robbery and harassment of civilians, are notorious, dangerous and dishonest members of the Cameroon military.
He says Cameroon has started disciplinary and administrative proceedings against the men as provided for by military regulations and that Togo should punish them as its law provides. He says Cameroon's Defense Ministry denies responsibility for their crimes and atrocities because the men in question have broken off links with Cameroon's military.
Guemo said the other two men arrested in Lome are civilians with criminal records and were wanted. He said the five arrested in Togo were helped by another military officer, Essimbi Francis, who has been arrested for his role in other crimes and is being held in Yaounde.
Togo media reported May 20 that the five Cameroonians had been arrested in Lome after using weapons to rob a Togolese businessman of his car and money.
Cameroonian media reported that Yendoube Douti, head of the Lome research and criminal investigation unit of the Togolese police, said the five men confessed they were using weapons they obtained from the Cameroon defense headquarters in Yaounde.
He says investigations carried out by Togolese police indicate that the brain behind the group of robbers is Ntanga Clement Didier Mogo, known as Tony, a member of the Cameroon military. He says Tony convinced his colleague, Oumarou Abo Fadil, who was in charge of weapons at Cameroon's defense headquarters in Yaounde, to steal automatic pistols and go with him to Togo, where they could make a better living stealing and selling vehicles.
Mogo, speaking on the state broadcaster Television Togolese said he and his group traveled to Lome to buy cars for a senior military official he refused to name, but that they were tempted to steal when their stay was extended by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
He says that he did not plan to steal when he left Yaounde for Lome but that he asked his colleagues who control weapons at the defense headquarters to accompany him with pistols for security against possible attacks by highway robbers. He says after they got to Lome, both Cameroon and Togo sealed their borders and they could not return.
Mogo acknowledged that Togolese police arrested them after they stole money and a car from a rich Togolese businessman and were trying to escape. He said it was the only act of robbery they committed.
Cameroon's military says whenever they return after facing justice in Togo, they will answer charges for the crimes committed in Cameroon and for damaging Cameroon's image in a foreign country and that for now, they are no longer members of the Cameroonian military.