MIAMI – Charles McArthur Emmanuel, son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, has been arrested by U.S. authorities in Miami, days after his father was handed over to a war crimes tribunal.
Emmanuel, a U.S. citizen, led Liberian forces who were responsible for Taylor's security until he went into exile in 2003, according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Miami.
Emmanuel, 29, also known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr., was on a United Nations list of Liberians whose travel was restricted.
He was taken into custody Thursday night at Miami International Airport, when his flight from Trinidad had just landed, authorities said.
Emmanuel appeared in federal court Friday on a charge of passport fraud, said Barbara Gonzalez, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.
It was not immediately clear where Emmanuel was being held. Federal Detention Center officials in Miami could not confirm that he was in their custody.
Taylor, the former warlord, is being held at the U.N.-backed Special Court in Sierra Leone court that has charged him with war crimes. He was arrested in Nigeria on Tuesday.
Emmanuel was born in Boston in 1977, the affidavit said. Emmanuel served his father in Liberia for the duration of Taylor's rule from 1977 until August 2003, the affidavit said, citing an interview with Emmanuel's mother.
Emmanuel traveled to the Caribbean island of Trinidad when he quit Liberia at the end of July 2003, passing through Dulles International Airport in suburban Virginia, the affidavit said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents learned that he applied two weeks ago to renew his U.S. passport at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad's capital. He lied about his father's identity on the application, the affidavit said.
Emmanuel picked up the passport in recent days and, on Thursday, boarded an American Airlines flight bound for Miami.