Honduras police unearth 1.5 tonnes of buried cocaine

AFP
Tegucigalpa, Honduras Published: May 07, 2021, 01:41 PM(IST)

Representative Image of cocaine smuggling Photograph:( Facebook )

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They found some 1,450 packets of drugs in 58 sacks buried in three large holes dug with heavy machinery, a police statement said

Police in Honduras, whose president the United States accuses of being a "co-conspirator" in drug-trafficking, unearthed 1.5 tonnes of cocaine buried in the ground in a small village in the country's north.

They found some 1,450 packets of drugs in 58 sacks buried in three large holes dug with heavy machinery, a police statement said.

The drugs had apparently been brought to Francia, which is near the coast, by sea.

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The haul was the result of intelligence work and served to "demonstrate the hard work done by the National Police in coordination with other institutions, with the aim of dismantling drug trafficking structures operating in the country," according to the head of the special forces police directorate, Miguel Perez.  

So far this year, Honduran police have seized more than eight tons of drugs, said the statement.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has stepped up the fight against drug cartels even as his brother, Tony, was found guilty in a US court in October 2019 of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States.

In March this year, he was sentenced to live in prison on this and other charges.

During his trial, the US government argued the former Honduran congressman was a large-scale drug trafficker who smuggled more than 185 tons of cocaine into the United States.

Judge P Kevin Castel found Tony Hernandez had acted as an intermediary in providing bribes to politicians, including his president brother and the ruling National Party.

US prosecutors said the president had been a "co-conspirator" in Tony Hernandez's crimes, though he has not been charged.

Hernandez, who has styled himself as a champion in the fight against drugs, has repeatedly denied allegations of drug trafficking.

In March this year, a New York jury found Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, an alleged associate of the president, guilty of drug trafficking.

During his trial, US prosecutors said the Honduran leader had helped Fuentes smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States.

President Hernandez accuses the US justice system of giving credibility to drug lords seeking "revenge" for having been extradited to the United States by his government.

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