Categorized | International, News, Regional

Drug Trafficking in the region: (Surinamese) Antigua and (Venezuelans) Haiti

Nephews of Venezuela’s first lady arrested on drug trafficking charges

by STAFF WRITER

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 12, CMC – Two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady are scheduled to appear in a US court on Thursday, following their arrest here on Tuesday shortly after arriving from Venezuela on a private plane.

Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores are accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

U.S. agents arrested the men late Tuesday, when they reportedly contacted an undercover American agent about selling 800 kilograms of cocaine through Honduras. While both men have diplomatic passports, neither has diplomatic immunity.

Campo Flores, 29, told the US agents that he is the stepson of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, having been raised by his aunt, Cilia Flores, who is Maduro’s wife. A U.S. document said the other man identified himself as a nephew of Flores.

So far Venezuela has not commented on the reported arrests which follow on from an airspace violation row on Sunday in which Venezuela’s Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino said a US plane had wrongfully entered the country’s airspace.

The men were arrested as prosecutors in the United States continue to pursue several investigations into alleged drug tracking and money laundering activities of Venezuela’s military, police force and government officials.

Caracas has constantly denied allegations that it is involved in drug trafficking, saying that the allegations are efforts to destabilize the government.

Surinamese national nabbed with illegal drugs in chocolates

by STAFF WRITER

Cocaine in chocolate (wraps)

Cocaine in chocolate (wraps)

Antigua, Nov 13, CMC – Police say they have arrested a 36-year-old Surinamese woman with more than three kilogrammes of cocaine in several chocolate boxes with a street value of more than EC$100, 000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) on Thursday.

They said that Mireille Letitia Hasselbaink was intercepted by Customs Officers at the V.C. Bird International Airport, attempting to smuggle 3.1 kilos of cocaine into the country.

“The drug was concealed among several boxes of chocolate. Customs Officers attached to the airport became suspicious of the Surinamese woman and pulled her out of the line,” a police statement said.

It said that a search was conducted on her suitcase, and during the search several boxes of Ferrero Rocher, Pecan Pralines, and Ghirardelli Chocolates were found.

“ During a closer examination of the packages, customs officers discovered that the chocolate was only an outer coating for 225 mini-balls of Cocaine. The woman was arrested and taken into custody. She arrived in Antigua Thursday morning aboard the Caribbean Airlines Flight #458 from Suriname. The drugs carry an estimated street value of $111,653.

The statement said that the woman is “in police custody assisting them with their investigations”.

 

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Nephews of Venezuela’s first lady arrested on drug trafficking charges

by STAFF WRITER

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 12, CMC – Two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady are scheduled to appear in a US court on Thursday, following their arrest here on Tuesday shortly after arriving from Venezuela on a private plane.

Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores are accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

U.S. agents arrested the men late Tuesday, when they reportedly contacted an undercover American agent about selling 800 kilograms of cocaine through Honduras. While both men have diplomatic passports, neither has diplomatic immunity.

Campo Flores, 29, told the US agents that he is the stepson of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, having been raised by his aunt, Cilia Flores, who is Maduro’s wife. A U.S. document said the other man identified himself as a nephew of Flores.

So far Venezuela has not commented on the reported arrests which follow on from an airspace violation row on Sunday in which Venezuela’s Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino said a US plane had wrongfully entered the country’s airspace.

The men were arrested as prosecutors in the United States continue to pursue several investigations into alleged drug tracking and money laundering activities of Venezuela’s military, police force and government officials.

Caracas has constantly denied allegations that it is involved in drug trafficking, saying that the allegations are efforts to destabilize the government.

Surinamese national nabbed with illegal drugs in chocolates

by STAFF WRITER

Cocaine in chocolate (wraps)

Cocaine in chocolate (wraps)

Antigua, Nov 13, CMC – Police say they have arrested a 36-year-old Surinamese woman with more than three kilogrammes of cocaine in several chocolate boxes with a street value of more than EC$100, 000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) on Thursday.

They said that Mireille Letitia Hasselbaink was intercepted by Customs Officers at the V.C. Bird International Airport, attempting to smuggle 3.1 kilos of cocaine into the country.

“The drug was concealed among several boxes of chocolate. Customs Officers attached to the airport became suspicious of the Surinamese woman and pulled her out of the line,” a police statement said.

It said that a search was conducted on her suitcase, and during the search several boxes of Ferrero Rocher, Pecan Pralines, and Ghirardelli Chocolates were found.

“ During a closer examination of the packages, customs officers discovered that the chocolate was only an outer coating for 225 mini-balls of Cocaine. The woman was arrested and taken into custody. She arrived in Antigua Thursday morning aboard the Caribbean Airlines Flight #458 from Suriname. The drugs carry an estimated street value of $111,653.

The statement said that the woman is “in police custody assisting them with their investigations”.