HomeNewsBriefSon of Suriname's President Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking, Terrorism
BRIEF

Son of Suriname's President Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking, Terrorism

ELITES AND CRIME / 1 SEP 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

The son of Suriname's president, who served as head of the country's counterterrorism unit, has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, weapons, and terrorism charges, in the latest evidence of the depth of corruption in the Suriname administration.

On August 29, Dino Bouterse admitted to offering assistance to US agents posing as members of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah who wished to set up operations in Suriname, reported Al Jazeera.

During a federal court hearing, Bouterse stated that he gave a person he believed to be a Hezbollah operative a fake Surinamese passport. According to the indictment (pdf), Bouterse agreed to help the supposed Hezbollah operatives establish fake identities and to provide the group with weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, to launch attacks against the United States and the Netherlands in exchange for an initial payment of $2 million.

Bouterse also pleaded guilty to weapons charges and conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, reported Bloomberg. The indictment states that Bouterse told two undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents posing as representatives of a Mexican drug trafficking organization that he could help them smuggle drugs and get weapons in Suriname.

InSight Crime Analysis

Dino Bouterse was arrested in Panama in August 2013 on drug trafficking and weapons charges and originally pleaded not guilty in a US federal court. Once US prosecutors added the terrorism charges, however, Bouterse accepted a plea deal.    

His father, President Desi Bouterse, has also been implicated in numerous criminal activities and was convicted in absentia of drug trafficking by a Netherlands court in 1999. He is currently wanted for drug trafficking in France, and last year the DEA stated there was "hard evidence" that Desi Bouterse had ties to convicted Guyanese drug trafficker Shaheed "Roger" Khan. The president has also been implicated in a criminal network that exchanged weapons for cocaine with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Suriname

In addition to confirming the Bouterse family's involvement in drug trafficking, the current case is a reminder of US concerns about Islamic militants operating in Latin America. Apart from the 2011 arrest of an Iranian-American accused of attempting to hire a Zetas hitman to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States -- a plot that most likely did not involve actual collaboration from the Zetas -- claims about members of Islamic armed groups operating in Latin America have proved largely unsubstantiated.

Recent InSight Crime investigations in Paraguay's Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier region near the borders with Argentina and Brazil, found no evidence of a Hezbollah connection to the Lebanese businessmen operating there, despite allegations that Hezbollah receives considerable funding from the zone.

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.

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

EL SALVADOR / 21 SEP 2021

A scrapped investigation into alleged food aid theft by officials in the administration of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has…

ELITES AND CRIME / 24 NOV 2022

Sanctions from the US and Canada are targeting Haiti's long history of patronage between political parties and violent gangs.

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 APR 2021

Venezuela is increasingly turning to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, raising questions about its possible use in laundering money and evading US…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…