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Drug Trafficking in the region

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

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.

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

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.

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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.