San Juan: The son of the president of the South American country of Suriname has been arrested on US drug and weapon charges, federal prosecutors said.
Dino Bouterse, director of Suriname`s anti-terrorism unit, was arrested Thursday in Panama by local authorities and turned over to US agents, said Preet Bharara, US attorney for the Southern District of New York yesterday.
His arrest came as his father, Desi Bouterse, a former coup leader and himself convicted of drug offences, hosted the annual UNEASIER summit for leaders of South American countries. Officials in Suriname announced yesterday that the opening statement by Desi Boaters would be postponed by several hours.
Local government officials have declined further comment. Dino Boaters pleaded not guilty yesterday afternoon before Magistrate Judge James C. Francis in Manhattan federal court after being flown to New York late Thursday. Prosecutors asked that Boaters be held, and the request was not immediately opposed.
Buttress`s court attorney Christopher Flood declined to comment outside court. A hearing was set for Sept 9 Boaters is a significant drug trafficker," said Derek Malts, special agent-in-charge with the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Boaters faces a US federal indictment alleging he worked with a man identified as Edmund Quincy Mintaka to smuggle cocaine into the United States starting in or about December 2011.It also charges him with violating firearms laws by brandishing a light anti-tank weapon during the narcotics offence.
The indictment says Boaters was involved in smuggling a suitcase filled with 10 kilogrammes of cocaine aboard a commercial flight from Suriname to the Caribbean in late July.
Federal prosecutors said Mintaka was arrested Thursday in the Caribbean island of Trinidad.
Boater`s father is a convicted drug trafficker who was elected president of Suriname in July 2010. Shortly after his inauguration, Boaters appointed his son as director of Surinam`s Counter Terrorist Unit, drawing heavy criticism from opposition legislators who expressed concern that no legal framework was created for the unit to operate. In 2011, unit officials were criticised for acting as police officers when they killed two men suspected in several violent crimes.