FACT CHECK: Foreign ‘Pilot’ Supplying Arms To Bandits Was Not Arrested In Niger State, But Central African Republic

There are unverified claims that helicopters supply logistics to bandits terrorising northern Nigeria, particularly Niger State. This first came to the limelight in 2020 when many social media users allegedly traced the ownership of a bandits’ helicopter to the former head of state, General Abubakar Abudlsalam.

According to reports, the helicopter was intercepted by locals using local wizardry. However, they claimed that documents found in the aircraft were traced to the former head of state, yet the documents were not released to the public, making it a hard nut to crack.

READ: Slavery, Rape… How Bandits In Katsina Freely Govern Locals

This morning, a similar story was going viral on social media with assorted pictures.

The claim

Social media users and blogs flooded Facebook and Twitter with an unverified story that a foreign pilot, Juan Remy supplying weapons to bandits Niger State was arrested. Some posted that he was arrested in the Niger Republic.

The viral post read: “A breaking pilot who supplies weapons to bandits has been arrested in Niger State, Juan Remy, a helicopter pilot who supplies weapons to bandits, has been arrested.”

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To verify the claim, WikkiTimes subjected the pictures to a thorough check using basic fact-checking tools.

The geolocation of the picture was traced to Bangui, the capital and largest city of the Central African capital.

In May 2021, the Attorney General of Bangui, Eric Didier Tambo, told Anadolu, a Turkey-based news agency that a 55-year-old French national, Juan Rémy Quignolot, was apprehended for supplying arms and ammunition to rebels terrorising the country.

READ: Zamfara Govt Disarms Vigilantes, Puts Trust In Bandits Over ‘Ceasefire Agreement’

According to Tambo, the suspect was detained at the Central Office for the Suppression of Banditry (OCRB), a special unit for the fight against crime in the Central African Republic.


Juan Remy was truly arrested for abetting terrorism, but not In Niger State, Nigeria, or the Niger Republic, as claimed by many users on social media. According to WikkiTimes’ findings, Remy who has been living in the Central African Republic since 2013, trained Seleka rebels who terrorise the country.


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