Surinamese nabbed in TT
By JADA LOUTOO Wednesday, September 18 2013
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FATHER AND SON: Suriname's President Desi Bouterse, seated, and son Dino, the latter being named in an indictment in a federal court in the Southern D...
AN ALLEGED co-conspirator of the son of Suriname’s President, who has appeared on cocaine smuggling charges in the US, has been arrested in Trinidad and will be sent to New York to face prosecution, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday confirmed.
Edmund Quincy Muntslag, who along with Dino Bouterse (son of Suriname President Desi Bouterse) was named in an indictment in a federal court in the Southern District of New York, is wanted in the US on drug trafficking charges, Muntslag was arrested in Trinidad last week Thursday while Bouterse was arrested in Panama, also last week Thursday. According to the indictment, Muntslag travelled to Suriname on July 25 to arrange the transport of ten kilos of cocaine to the US.
On July 27, the indictment alleges, Bouterse “caused a suitcase containing ten kilos of cocaine to be transported from Suriname to the Caribbean on board a commercial flight.” Muntslag was arrested in Trinidad and charged with drug trafficking, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office.
Ramlogan would only confirm the arrest and that the local authorities were working with their US counterparts. Newsday was told Muntslag’s arrest was part of an international ‘‘sting’’ operation led by the US government in collaboration with his (Ramlogan) office and Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.
According to sources, the US has been trailing Muntslag for some time. A provisional warrant of arrest was issued by Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar. Muntslag was arrested by officials of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Interdiction Bureau.
He was said to have entered Trinidad on August 29 in transit to another country.
The investigation by the US has been the subject of international press reports. Local sources said the arrest represented a significant breakthrough in an international investigation that focused on a major cartel responsible for drug trafficking between South America and the United States.
Muntslag is currently detained at the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca where security has been beefed up because of heightened concerns for the drug cartel’s ability to infiltrate local prisons. Security services are on high alert for any attempted prison break as police officers have allegedly been approached by various emissaries to assist in facilitating the escape.
Muntlsag appeared in the local courts on August 30. He was unrepresented and requested he be provided with a translator. The Central Authority Unit in the Ministry of the Attorney General has offered to assist. Sources said Muntslag’s mother has flown in to visit him but prison officials are keeping a close watch as he is treated as a maximum security high-risk prisoner.
Bouterse’s father Desi, is a former military dictator accused of human rights violations, including the killing of 15 political opponents in December 1982. He ruled the tiny South American country from 1980 to 1987, and reclaimed power in 2010.
Muntlsag, 29, of Suriname, is charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison while the indictment against Bouterse alleges the 40-year-old imported more than five kilogrammes of cocaine into the United States between December 2011 and August 2013.
Bouterse was arraigned on Friday in a Manhattan federal court for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States and for carrying a firearm or destructive device — an anti-tank rocket launcher and pistols — during a drug-related crime.