Southern Cameroons Crisis: Eric Tataw arrested in the US 0

The US-based Anglophone journalist, cum separatist who rose to prominence by asking separatist fighters to cut off the hands and fingers of plantation workers, back in Cameroon’s South West region, was arrested on Thursday, August 31, 2023, upon request by a Federal judge.

He had been into active activism, trumping for the independence of the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, a country they named Ambazonia. But after a few years, his activism was less seen in the social media space, as he ventured into business.

Now, the US government said the money he used to do business was loaned to him through the Paycheck Protection Program, PPP, in 2020. But what caused his early arrest, was a criminal complaint filed by special agent and investigator, investigator Kyle ZGraggen. He said there was evidence that Eric Tataw violated Title 18 U.S.C and 1512(b)1, that is tampering with a witness with the intent to influence the testimony of the witness in an official proceeding.

The investigator also said in a long narrative that he had sufficient evidence that Eric Tataw tried in futility to coerce a witness to tell lies during the court sessions. The witness had recordings where Eric Tataw is heard planning how to lie in front of judges.

Why investigations

Before his arrest, Eric Tataw, the owner of the online news site National Telegraph, was under investigation for several federal offenses such as wire fraud and Paycheck Protection Program, PPP loan fraud.

Investigator said so far, they have discovered that the loan was gotten via fraud including lies about the amount of monthly payroll, the number of employees, and the annual revenue of this business, the National Telegraph.

“As a result of fraudulent applications, National Telegraph was approved for two PPP loans, totaling over $ 163,000 in 2020 and 2021,” a statement read.

Lavish Lifestyle

Investigators also found out that Eric Tataw did not use these PPP loans for the business and payroll for which it was intended. But he spent at least a portion of it, buying impermissible personal expenditures, the investigator revealed.

Social media has been the platform where such lifestyles have been seen as Eric Tataw on many occasions boasted of acquiring houses and several businesses, CNA cannot independently confirm if the money used to acquire these properties was from the PPP loans.

Role in Cameroon armed conflict

Eric Tataw is one of the Activists who preached violence against the population in the ongoing war in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions. The investigator said Witness 1, during investigations that Eric Tataw, told the Witness what to say to judges if asked about his role in the Cameroon conflict, kidnappings, and violence against the population.

During the crucial days of the conflict, Eric Tataw, far in his comfort zone in the US, instructed Separatist fighters to cut off the hands and the fingers of farmers who dared him by working at the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC, and plantations. That is why he was nicknamed the “garri master” a colloquial word used in the place of “cut off”. He even went far in August 2018 to ask the Separatists to “garri” cut off the hands of those from French regions, “And let me take it as a point of duty to tell all of you that this is the time to start “garrying” those people across the Mungo…to garri these people, it is the only way that will change the focus of this regime…do not allow them, go to their houses, garri their most dominants hands…in Buea, Bamenda, go there and garri them…quote me anywhere, My name is Eric Tataw.” He said in one of his videos.

Eric Tataw shall appear in court on September 8, 2023, in Maryland. It is not yet clear if the conflict in Cameroon and his role will be on the table.

Source: Cameroon News Agency