|04TEGUCIGALPA1543||2004-07-13 13:22:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Tegucigalpa|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEGUCIGALPA 001543
1. SUMMARY: On June 13, 2004 two armed individuals broke
into the detention center at GOH Migration in Tegucigalpa.
They freed twelve People's Republic of China (PRCs)
nationals apprehended early in 2004 and six South Americans.
2. Since November 2003, GOH investigative and migration
authorities have intercepted over 25 illegal PRCs using
forged Indonesian, Taiwanese, Japanese and Great Britain
passports. Some were traveling with their PRC passports but
had false GOH visas printed. These intercepts and the
arrest of four smugglers represented an important impact on
the smuggling organization. On June 13, 2004, at about 1640
hours, two armed individuals broke into the GOH Migration
detention facility, reduced four migration and frontier
officials to impotency, and fled with twelve PRCs and six
South Americans. Late at night on June 13, 2004, the
captors released two of the South Americans. Their
statements however, did not shed much light on the location
of the PRCs or the organization that freed them.
3. On Wednesday, June 16, 2004, the GOH's Attorney General
issued warrants to search six local businesses owned by PRCs
known for their participation in the smuggling of PRCs into
Honduras and the United States. An anonymous telephone
call, however, revealed that the location of the PRCs was
Rio Hondo, a village located some 16 miles from Tegucigalpa.
Authorities were thus able to recapture the twelve PRCs, and
the owner of the property where the PRCs were found was also
arrested. Surprisingly, the subject was released after
providing the name of an individual who has been known by
post officials to be involved in the theft of 1600 Honduran
passports in 2001. Post learned that after his release, the
owner of the Rio Hondo property killed a neighbor in Rio
Hondo. As of the date of this cable, the owner of the Rio
Hondo property and the subject identified by him remain at
4. On Thursday, June 17, 2004, two more South Americans were
intercepted in a poor hotel in Tegucigalpa. Interviews of
these aliens indicated that the operation of their captors
was only directed at the PRCs. Therefore, the captors
released the South Americans.
5. Interviews of the PRCs with the assistance of officials
from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement suboffice
at post have provided local authorities with additional
information about the members of this smuggling organization
and their associates in the escape from the detention
6. COMMENT: This is an exceptional case where all the
different investigative agencies in Honduras have worked
together in an investigation of organized crime. GOH
Migration has experienced serious difficulties in obtaining
PRC documents from the PRC Consulate in Mexico City.
Consequently, and in furtherance of U.S. interests, GOH
Migration has kept the PRCs in custody for periods well
above the 40-day limit authorized under current law. The
Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE) at post
provided GOH Migration with funding for the repatriation of
the recaptured PRCs. END COMMENT