0 Shares 100 Views

U.S. accuses ex-Venezuelan lawmaker of drug conspiracy tied to Middle East militants

May 27, 2020
0 101

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday charged a former Venezuelan lawmaker with taking part with President Nicolas Maduro in a scheme linked to South American and Middle Eastern militant groups to traffic cocaine and military grade weapons.

Federal prosecutors in New York also charged Adel al Zabayar, a 56-year-old former member of Venezuela’s National Assembly, with helping to recruit Hezbollah and Hamas operatives to plan attacks against U.S. targets.

They said in court papers filed in Manhattan that he worked with the Venezuelan criminal organization the Cártel de Los Soles, or “Cartel of the Suns” in English, and Colombian militant group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, better known by the acronym FARC.

“El Zabayar was part of the unholy alliance of government, military, and FARC members using violence and corruption to further their narco-terrorist aims,” Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, said in a statement. “The Cártel de Los Soles sought to recruit terrorists from Hezbollah and Hamas to assist in planning and carrying out attacks on the U.S., and … El Zabayar was instrumental as a go-between.”

U.S. prosecutors indicted Maduro and over a dozen current and former Venezuelan officials on charges of narco-terrorism and drug smuggling in March. Maduro has dismissed the charges as a politically motivated fabrication by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

A U.S. law enforcement official said El Zabayar was not in American custody.

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)

You may be interested

FBI chief says China threatens families to coerce overseas critics to return to China
Entertainment
35 views
Entertainment
35 views

FBI chief says China threatens families to coerce overseas critics to return to China

Webby - July 7, 2020

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in WashingtonMoreBy Jonathan LandayWASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI Director Christopher Wray on…

‘Let me borrow your bike’: Atlanta police officer takes passing man’s bicycle to chase fleeing murder suspect
Entertainment
37 views
Entertainment
37 views

‘Let me borrow your bike’: Atlanta police officer takes passing man’s bicycle to chase fleeing murder suspect

Webby - July 7, 2020

Atlanta Police DepartmentMore<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Police in Atlanta were able to apprehend a murder suspect thanks to a passerby’s bicycle." data-reactid="17">Police in Atlanta…

Coronavirus herd immunity may be 'unachievable' after study suggests antibodies disappear after weeks in some people
Entertainment
35 views
Entertainment
35 views

Coronavirus herd immunity may be 'unachievable' after study suggests antibodies disappear after weeks in some people

Webby - July 7, 2020

La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain, was quiet on Thursday.MoreJoan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty ImagesA major new study in one of Europe's worst affected countries for the…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Most from this category