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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03TEGUCIGALPA2883 2003-12-10 22:22:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

HONDURAN POLICE SEIZE 636 KILOS OF COCAINE AND

Tags:   SNAR KCRM KJUS PGOV HO 
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					  UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 002883 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL/LP, WHA/PPC, AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM KJUS PGOV HO
SUBJECT: HONDURAN POLICE SEIZE 636 KILOS OF COCAINE AND
ARREST PARLACEN STAFF MEMBER FOR DEALING COCAINE

REF: TEGUCIGALPA 1497



1. Summary: On December 4, Honduran authorities seized
approximately 636 kilos of cocaine from a truck in San Pedro
Sula. The seizure of the drugs was the result of
well-executed police work, acting upon a tip that a large
amount of drugs would soon be moving through the country.
The drugs were discovered in a concealed compartment in the
back of a truck. This brings the total amount of cocaine
seized this year in Honduras to approximately 5,700 kilos.
Also, later that same day, Jorge Alberto Caceres, (a PARLACEN
staff member) was arrested for distributing and selling
cocaine in the parliament's offices. End Summary.



2. On December 4, Honduran authorities seized approximately
636 kilos of cocaine from a truck in San Pedro Sula. Police
initially stopped the vehicle because his windows were
completely tinted (Note: It is technically illegal in
Honduras to have one's windows 100 percent tinted. End
note). After approaching the vehicle, the police noticed
that the "very nervous" driver possessed two cellular phones,
a radio, and various sets of keys. The driver, who claimed
to be from Honduras, then presented "suspicious"
identification, and when police asked him some very basic
questions about Honduras, he was unable to answer. The
police then performed a complete search of the vehicle
leading to the discovery of the concealed compartment.



3. According to the Vice Minister of Security, Armando
Calidonio, the seizure was the product of an operation led by
the National Police, who acted upon general information they
had received that a rather large shipment of drugs would soon
transit the country. It appears that the 636 kilos were only
a part of the original shipment of approximately 1,200 kilos.
According to the driver, the remainder had been placed in
another identical vehicle. It is suspected that the other
half of the shipment has already left the country.



4. In an unrelated incident later that same day, police
arrested Jorge Alberto Caceres, a staff member of the Central
American Parliament (PARLACEN), for distributing and selling
cocaine in the parliament's offices in Tegucigalpa. Hours
before Caceres' arrest, four other men were arrested upon
leaving PARLACEN, all of whom were found to be in possession
of cocaine, presumably for the purpose of selling it.



5. The sting operation at PARLACEN was part of a month-long
investigation, in which government officials claim to have
videotaped Caceres selling cocaine on various occasions. A
search of Caceres' office came up empty, but authorities
presume that the drugs are hidden somewhere else in the
PARLACEN complex. (Note: According to press reports, the
director of PARLACEN only gave authorities permission to
search Caceres' office. End Note). Caceres is the second
Honduran at PARLACEN this year to be arrested on drug-related
charges. Earlier this year, Cesar Diaz was arrested in
Nicaragua when police found seven kilos of heroin in his
vehicle (reftel). He was later convicted of trafficking and
possession of heroin.



6. These latest seizures bring the total amount of cocaine
seized this year in Honduras to approximately 5,700 kilos.
This is significantly more than has been seized in the last
seven years combined.
Pierce