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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Honduras: Former Player Bonilla Held for Trafficking

Former Honduran soccer player Oscar “El Pescado” Bonilla, a former national team player and member of professional teams in Honduras and Uruguay, was captured this Saturday accused of drug trafficking, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) reported.

The MP “is coordinating together with the National Police the transfer to the capital of former professional soccer player Oscar Armando Bonilla Fúnez, alias El Pescado, accused of the crime of aggravated drug trafficking,” the agency noted in a statement.

It recalled that Bonilla was accused by the MP on December 29 last year, when “11 homes were raided and four real estate properties, 13 smaller vessels (boats) and 19 vehicles were seized.”

According to the report, the former player who played for Real España and Olimpia in Honduras and Bella Vista in Uruguay, among other teams, allegedly replaced members of an organization known as Los Kristoff, arrested in 2019, in the “drug trafficking business.”

The drug trafficking network known as Los Halcones was in charge of receiving “at least six tons of cocaine on the high seas by means of fast boats, gofast type, from the Colombian coasts, then hid the merchandise in safe places in La Mosquitia,” an area in the Caribbean east of the country.

Finally they moved it gradually towards the departments of Atlántida and Cortés, in the Honduran Caribbean, always by sea, until concluding by land towards the western part of the country, bordering Guatemala.

“From Los Halcones […] they seized 622 kilos of cocaine, a first confiscation of 374 packages in Punta Izopo (Honduran Caribbean) on November 17, 2021 and the other shipment of 248 packages in Esparta on February 16, 2022,” it detailed.

Honduras, like the rest of Central America, is a bridge for the cocaine sent by South American cartels to the United States.

Former President Juan Orlando Hernández himself, who governed Honduras for two terms from 2014 to 2022, was extradited in April 2022 to New York, accused of sending 500 tons of cocaine to the United States between 2004 and 2022.

The former president, 55, risks being sentenced to life in prison, as happened with his brother, Tony, in March 2021.

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