November 10, 2007

More on the La Ceiba drug raids

Police raid, La Ceiba, HondurasPhotos: La Prensa, El Heraldo, Honduras

Newspaper reports on Friday stated that a total of 15 raids were effected in different parts of the city beginning in the early hours of the morning Thursday. Approximately 300 anti-drug agents, fiscales, judges, and military personnel participated in the operatives.

Police raid, La Ceiba, HondurasIn addition to La Gringa's neighborhood, blogger Katrina's apartment building, restaurants, the harbor, and other "tourist places" were also the subject of raids. Apparently only six people were taken into custody which sounds like a disappointing result to me.

The name of the 30-year-old man who was killed was released: Franklin Cunningham James (sounds like a gringo name to me), who said he was captain of a fishing boat. He was from Nicaragua where he is had a criminal record for narcotrafficking and was operating out of the La Mosquitia area. He died after being taken to the public hospital with two bullets in his body. Another man was injured (or depending upon the newspaper reports, six people were injured).

Explosives were used to gain entry in more than one home and at least five nearby homes were damaged as a result.

Police raid, La Ceiba, HondurasA press conference was promised for the afternoon Thursday but never materialized. The media was left in the dark as far as whether there was confiscation of drugs or money or whether the suspects were charged with narcotrafficking or money laundering. Names of the homeowners or renters were not released.

I believe that if they had found quantities of drugs or money, we would have seen the evidence on the news. Apparently, (as suggested by the taxi driver!) the local police and fiscalia were left out of the loop in this investigation due to corruption in prior cases.

Updated news on Saturday:

Photos: El Heraldo and La Prensa, Honduras

La Prensa reported that L.6 million in cash (US $317,460) was found hidden in cowboy boots, cloth sacks, and cabinets. The Fiscalía Contra el Crimen Organizada (state attorney in charge of organized crime) reported that no drugs were found although there was indications of money laundering.

Also decommissioned were a quantity of high caliber firearms, prohibited munitions, and half a kilo of TNT explosive.

Investigators also took custody of numerous computers, 18 vehicles, some motorcycles. The homes and businesses remain under the control of the authorities while waiting a resolution from the Office of Bienes Incautadas (seized property).

This article is a follow up to the November 8 article: The war on drugs comes to La Gringa's colonia
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