HomeNewsBriefHonduras Moves to Sell Extradited Drug Trafficker's Properties
BRIEF

Honduras Moves to Sell Extradited Drug Trafficker's Properties

HONDURAS / 28 AUG 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Authorities in Honduras are preparing to sell off extradited drug trafficker Carlos "El Negro" Lobo's properties, another step in criminal proceedings that have moved unusually fast and serve as an indication of the current government's political will to target organized crime.

A court ruling has expropriated properties belonging to Lobo that Honduran authorities seized during several operations in 2011, 2012 and 2014, reported La Prensa. When the ruling goes into effect on September 5, Honduras' Administrative Office of Seized Properties (OABI) will determine the value of the assets and auction many of them off, distributing the proceeds to different government institutions.

According to La Tribuna, authorities have finished appraising 37 properties, which have an estimated value of more than $8 million. The OABI has confiscated dozens assets from the extradited drug trafficker, including 18 fishing boats, four fishing companies, 43 homes, and 22 vehicles. The country's former Defense Minister Marlon Pascua previously said that in total the seized properties were worth over $14 million, reported La Prensa.

Raul Suaz, Lobo's attorney, told La Prensa he planned to appeal the expropriation of the properties, based on the fact his client had not been convicted of drug trafficking in Honduras and did not even have a criminal record in the country.

InSight Crime Analysis

Lobo's extradition to the United States in May marked the first time Honduras had extradited a Honduran citizen to the United States in nearly a century. The extradition came less than two months after Lobo's arrest, making it a swift process that seemed to indicate a strong political will to tackle organized crime and cooperate with US authorities.

There have been several other recent signs the country is taking a tougher stance on organized crime, and particularly targeting the finances of major criminals. Last week, Honduras seized over 50 properties belonging to the Valles criminal clan, following the arrest of family member Digna Valle Valle in the United States in July. Following a recent visit to border town El Espiritu -- the Valles operational base -- La Prensa highlighted the juxtaposition between the Valles' luxury mansions and the humble abodes of the rest of the population, as well as the town's extreme economic dependence on the group.

At the end of July, authorities also seized properties from the family of convicted drug trafficker Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, who was believed to have been Honduras' first major drug trafficker. In addition, Honduran authorities have gone after transport group the Cachiros, seizing $800 million in assets from the organization in 2013, although there have been no formal charges filed against the group's members.

SEE ALSO: Valles Profile

Assuming Lobo's assets are indeed auctioned off in September, this would also represent a relatively quick property seizure process in Latin America. Honduras, Mexico and neighboring Guatemala have all struggled with bureaucratic challenges as they work to employ relatively new property seizure legislation as a tool against drug traffickers, and such processes have been known to take years. 

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

COCAINE / 6 MAY 2022

The US has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of leaders of the Montes Bobadilla…

BELIZE / 2 JUN 2022

Since El Salvador's government began a campaign of mass arrests two months ago in a gang crackdown, fewer than 60…

ELITES AND CRIME / 6 JUL 2021

A high court in Honduras has found one of the intellectual authors of the high-profile murder of renowned Indigenous activist…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…