Three former senior Panamanian police officials charged with arms trafficking

Eight people, including three former senior Panama police officials, have been charged with possession and trafficking of weapons and explosives, the prosecution said on Thursday (July 16th) in a statement.

He did not specify the names of the accused, but sources familiar with the matter reported to Agence France-Presse (AFP) that three of the accused were former directors of the three main police institutions in Panama. These are, according to these sources, former officials of the National Police, Omar Pinzon (from 2014 to 2018), the National Carrier Service Belsio Gonzalez (2010-2018) and the National Border Service Frank Abrego (2008-2016) .

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The judge imposed house arrest on six of the eight accused while the last two are subject to judicial review, according to the statement of the prosecution.

An extensive investigation called “Furia”

The accused are suspected of having “Imported weapons, including weapons of war”, according to Attorney General Emeldo Marquez. These weapons are currently in possession of “Civilians” and public institutions, contrary to what was stipulated by customs documents, he added.

The charges were handed down after an extensive investigation, codenamed “Furia”, which arrested 19 people last week.

Thirty-four firearms and over 2,000 munitions were seized in 28 searches. “Some of these weapons are of a caliber banned from individuals in Panama”, said Attorney General Marquez.

In Panama “There is an important arms market” and the authorities seize “Up to three weapons per day”, recognized the Minister of the Interior Juan Pino.

The World with AFP


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