KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — Confidential sources in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have reported that Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal, a Nigerian national, has been issued an SVG passport in exchange for a cash payment of US$75,000.
According to Modern Ghana, “from smuggling to adultery, multi-billionaire businessman Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal is fast building a reputation as the new face of crime in Nigeria.”
Mangal’s home state is Katsina, an area in Nigeria known for Boko Haram loyalty.
Sahara Reporters reported that the 52-year old Mangal is Nigeria’s top cross-border smuggler, initially building a fortune by smuggling petroleum products through the Republic of Niger and later diversifying into the safe delivery of contraband goods on behalf of a variety of other smugglers to any destination in Nigeria, in some instances escorted by Nigerian soldiers in and out of the country.
According to local reports from SVG, the college in Kingstown suddenly started taking Nigerian students in the last two years, with an uncharacteristic absence of publicity on the part of the government. The presence of the Nigerians in SVG was only discovered when one of them got ill and he was isolated in case he had the Ebola virus.
Mangal is the owner/operator of Nigerian-based air charter company MaxAir, which has frequently been reported to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for maintenance violations and the employment of unqualified flight crew with fake pilots’ licenses, doctored logbooks and type ratings and questionable passports.
MaxAir reportedly has a fleet of four B747-300s and one B747-400 and also operates an Embraer Legacy 600 jet (M-ANGA) and a Learjet 45 (5N-LDM).
The airline specialises in Hajj charter flights from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia and is reportedly the largest such carrier in Nigeria.
MaxAir typically employs Middle Eastern, South American and Asian pilots with poor flying skills, including one falsely certified captain that seriously damaged the 747-400 with an extremely hard landing.
The entire fleet is said to non-airworthy with very little maintenance being done. The smaller jets are reportedly doing illegal charter work without an air taxi certificate.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) did not respond to requests for comment on what steps, if any, are being taken by aviation authorities to ensure that MaxAir aircraft are not permitted to enter UK, US or European airspace, especially given its connection to the Muslim world and al-Qaeda’s known interest in commercial aviation as a weapon.