Today’s Capt. Louis Renault moment brought to you courtesy of the Venezuelan regime:
U.S. Indicts Relatives of Venezuelan President on Drug Charges. Pair accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine, expected to appear in N.Y. court (emphasis added)
In a bare-bones indictment unsealed Thursday, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office alleged the two men conspired to import at least five kilograms of cocaine to the U.S. through Honduras.
The two men, Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, were first arrested in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday by local police, turned over to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and flown the same day to New York in a DEA jet, according to people familiar with the matter. They are expected to appear in New York federal court Thursday afternoon, another person said.
Mr. Campo Flores, 29 years old, identified himself on the DEA plane as a stepson of the president, according to the people familiar with the matter. He was raised by his aunt, Cilia Flores, who is Mr. Maduro’s wife. A U.S. document said the other man identified himself as a nephew of Ms. Flores.
. . .
The two men contacted a DEA confidential informant in Honduras in October and asked for help in trafficking 800 kilograms of cocaine through the airport in the country’s Caribbean island of Roatán, according to one of the two people familiar with the case.
The two men, Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, are nephews of Cilia Flores, the wife of Mr. Maduro, the person with knowledge of the matter said. Mr. Maduro, a leftist, calls Ms. Flores the country’s “first combatant” rather than its first lady. Ms. Flores is one of the most powerful people in the upper echelons of government and is frequently seen at her husband’s side.
The men allegedly were in the process of smuggling cocaine – just under a ton, roughly about 1,700 lbs. – into the United States when they were arrested in Port-au-Prince, where their plane arrived, and brought by authorities to New York.
The young men told authorities that they had diplomatic immunity, but police found no basis for their claim, Spanish news outlet ABC said.
They told the DEA that they were acting in connection with Diosdado Cabello, speaker of the National Assembly, as well as with a governor, Tarck el Aissami, who is the former Venezuelan Minister of the Interior.
They said that the high-ranking officials had helped with the drug shipment.
Miguel Octavio calls it 800 Kilograms Of Arrogance Arrested In Haiti
Caracas Chronicles: Dos Florecitas: Major Drugs Bust Hits Venezuela’s First Family. Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas – two flowery nephews – busted in Haiti on big-time drug-trafficking charges. It’s all true.
VN&V: Flowers and letters: no romance for the revolutionary corpse
ABC Spain (in Spanish) reports that in the past, Cilia’s son and Nicolas’s son, along with Hugo Chavez’s son, allegedly flew drugs into Cuba using PDVSA-owned planes. The drugs were later distributed into the U.S. through Cuban networks.
El Tiempo has more (also in Spanish) on the Cartel de los soles.
AP reports they’re being held without bail.
In other, unrelated, Venezuelan news, Caracas City Hall inaugurated a monument to Yasser Arafat,
“Yasser Arafat is now located in front of the house where Simón Bolívas [sic] started his education.”
.@jorgerpsuv Yasser Arafat está ahora ubicado frente a la casa donde Simón Bolívas comenzaría su educación pic.twitter.com/PgkUhjaQAF
— Alcaldía de Caracas (@AlcaldiadeCcs) November 11, 2015
[Post redone to correct HTML]