HomeNewsAnalysisPolice Arrest Four Smugglers in Nicaragua
ANALYSIS

Police Arrest Four Smugglers in Nicaragua

NICARAGUA / 14 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Nicaraguan police arrested four people accused of controlling airstrips in southern Nicaragua, used to launch drug flights for Mexican cartels, authorities said. 

The arrests come amid growing concerns inside Nicaragua and Costa Rica about the Tarazanes, a transnational network of drug and gun smugglers drawing increased attention from the security forces.

Police spokesperson Vilma Reyes Sandoval told El Nuevo Diario that the four detainees worked with Mexican and Colombian cartels, and that there may be more arrests in the coming days. She added that there may be a larger group based in Nicaragua, involving Costa Rican, Honduran and Colombian traffickers. Prensa Latina cites an unnamed source that says the group was in fact working with the Familia Michoacana.

The traffickers used a fumigation company as a cover for their drug trafficking, and laundered their profits through real estate and cars. Police seized five aircraft, 21 cars and seven properties during the operation.

There are no indications yet that the detainees worked for the Tarzanes, a league of smugglers operating on both sides of the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. They are usually linked to a traditional contraband family, headed by Agustin Reyes-Aragon and his six brothers.

The Tarzanes are believed to use rivers and lakes as a smuggling routes for precursor chemicals, cocaine, guns and other logistical supplies. La Prensa reports that the Nicaraguan army is finding increased evidence of their involvement in drug trafficking. Since October, the army has found several go-fast boats loaded with tons of cocaine and a secret air strip near the San Juan river, the group's traditional smuggling route. Six Hondurans who were arrested while trafficking drugs in southern Nicargua on 1 October are allegedly linked with the group.

Nicaragua has asked Costa Rica for help in combating the group, believed to take refuge in Costa Rican territory.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 JAN 2021

Nicaragua's Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, on the southern border with Costa Rica, is under assault.

NICARAGUA / 9 MAR 2012

Nicaragua’s popular police chief has warned that gangs from its crime-ridden neighbors in the “Northern Triangle” could move south, but…

NICARAGUA / 6 FEB 2013

A report from a Nicaraguan think-tank analyzing crime and violence in one of the semi-autonomous zones on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast highlights…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.