Son of Suriname President Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges

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Above: Dino Bouterse

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Dino Bouterse, the 40-year-old son of current Suriname President Desi Bouterse, has been arrested on drug trafficking charges in Panama, according to Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bouterse was arrested in Panama on Thursday and turned over to US authorities to face charges that he conspired to import cocaine into the United States.

“As alleged, Dino Bouterse conspired to send cocaine to the United States in a suitcase, and brandished a destructive weapon during the act,” Bharara said in a statement. “With his arrest, this Office continues to make sure that those who attempt to transport drugs into our country are apprehended and brought to justice, no matter where they live.”

Bouterse was set to be presented and arraigned in Manhattan federal court on Friday before US Magistrate Judge James C Francis IV.

He is being charged on two counts: first, with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, and two, with carrying a firearm or destructive device during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Each carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Derek Maltz, DEA Special-Agent-in-Charge, alleged that Bouterse was “a significant drug trafficker who allegedly possessed dangerous weapons.”

Bouterse was charged alongside Edmund Quincy Muntslag, who was arrested Thursday in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Bouterse has a history of drug and weapons trafficking, having been convicted of similar charges in his home country of Suriname in 2005,” he said. “Thanks to our vast network of law enforcement and informants around the world, DEA and our partners disrupted this drug trafficking conspiracy and he and Muntslag will now face justice here in the United States.”

Suriname and President Bouterse are currently hosting the UNASUR summit.

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