Tags: Venezuela | Haiti | crime | drugs | arrest

US Arrests Relatives of Venezuela First Lady Over Drug-trafficking

US Arrests Relatives of Venezuela First Lady Over Drug-trafficking
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and first lady, Cilia Flores. (AP)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 05:36 PM

Two relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro were arrested and brought to the U.S. for alleged involvement in drug trafficking, according to a U.S. law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. 

Two nephews of Cilia Flores, Maduro’s wife, were arrested in Haiti on Tuesday and turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the official said. They’re expected to be arraigned before a federal judge in New York on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Officials at Venezuela’s Information Ministry and Foreign Ministry declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News. Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The two relatives could not be reached for comment.

The allegations could add to tensions already building in the South American country as Maduro’s government prepares for legislative elections on Dec. 6, according to Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas in Washington.

“It’s clearly a PR nightmare for the government,” Farnsworth said in phone interview. “That’s something the government will try to discredit, but if the evidence is solid, and it becomes public, it’s going to be something that’s difficult to get around.”

The reports of the arrest came as Maduro and his wife were in Saudi Arabia, where he attended a summit of South American- Arab countries, known as ASPA.

Venezuela is one of the preferred trafficking routes for illegal drugs from South America to the Caribbean region and the United States, according to the U.S. state department, which cited the country’s "weak judicial system, sporadic international counter-narcotics cooperation, and permissive and corrupt environment."


© AFP 2021

US agents have arrested two relatives of Venezuela's first lady for allegedly conspiring to smuggle 800 kilos (1,800 pounds) of cocaine into America, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas were arrested in...
Venezuela, Haiti, crime, drugs, arrest
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 05:36 PM
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