Another strike was dealt against the South American country of Suriname on Wednesday when Edmund Muntslag was found guilty by an American court of trying to bring shipments of drugs into the United States.
Muntslag faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life. According to Reuters, the 32-year-old intends to appeal the verdict, his lawyer says.
The Surinamese national was busted in the same DEA sting operation that netted U.S. authorities 43-year-old Dino Bouterse, the son of Suriname’s president. Muntslag was seen by prosecutors as Bouterse’s right-hand-man, while the crown heir was head of the country’s counter-terrorism unit.
But their main business was drugs. Even Dino’s father, president Desi Bouterse, has a drug conviction on his record and is wanted for drug crimes in the Netherlands. The DEA was eager to prove their involvement in narcotics trafficking and set up an elaborate operation aimed at bringing them down.
Using informants and undercover agents, the DEA lured the willing narco-traffickers into a web of drugs and guns involving Mexican cartels and terrorist group Hezbollah. Both Dino Bouterse and Edmund Muntslag were arrested and taken to court. Bouterse pleaded guilty and, last year, received over 16 years in prison.
These convictions do not mean their political future back home is finished. At the beginning of this year, president Desi Bouterse named a convicted drug trafficker as the head of Suriname's national security service.
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