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Six more months are granted to investigate arms and explosives trafficking in Panama

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  • Thu, 10/11/2018 - 11:31
Ministerio Público
  • EFE

Due to a complex cause, the investigation into arms and explosives trafficking and falsification of documents was carried out, against 9 people, including 8 former officials of the Institutional Directorate of Public Security Affairs (DIASP), with which 6 more months are granted to continue the investigations.

Presiding judge Erick González authorized the application of the procedure for complex matters in this criminal case, at the request of the Superior Prosecutor against Organized Crime of the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP), David Mendoza.

Most of the accused are former employees of the DIASP of the Ministry of Public Security (Minseg), and are charged with crimes against collective security (trafficking and possession of weapons and explosives) and against public faith (falsification of public documents), to the detriment of society.

Judge González based his decision on the fact that the defendants have measures other than provisional detention, that the reasonable time for investigation is not violated and that the need for an additional period to clarify and determine the possible participation of the accused in the fact, said the Judicial Organ (OJ).

The Prosecutor Mendoza requested to raise this case to complex cause before the plurality of accused, the seriousness of the crimes, the innumerable number of victims (Panamanian society) and because other persons are missing because they are related.

Mendoza narrated the background of the case and explained that this investigation was initiated ex officio upon receiving information about a person who had entered the country 100 firearms from the US.

The weapons were granted permission and were legalized, altering dates and ballistics tests, despite the fact that in Panama there is a ban on the import of weapons since 2010, the representative of the MP said in his statement.

The Prosecutor assured that in this case there have been multiple interviews, raids, and that some people who bought these weapons delivered them voluntarily, but that some international procedures and other data analyzes are still needed.

In addition, he noted that one of these weapons was linked to a criminal act recently, said a statement from the OJ.

The MP reported that the Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime "will now continue with this investigation to determine if there are more people involved in these events."

The 100 firearms of different calibers were purchased in the USA through a citizen of Asian descent, and upon verification, 54 had DIASP permits, which allegedly occurred irregularly, the Public Ministry said in a statement. 

 

Source: EFE

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