On Saturday, the BBC reported that Dino Bouterse, the son of Suriname President Desi Bouterse, is also being charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorist organization Hezbollah. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration claims that they have evidence showing that Bouterse was paid millions of dollars for a Hezbollah military base in Suriname and for providing them with weapons. The DEA claims that Hezbollah was planning attacks on the U.S. and the Netherlands. The Netherlands is the former colonial ruler of Suriname.
In August, Dino Bouterse was handed over to U.S. officials by Panamanian authorities. A U.S. federal indictment alleges that Bouterse worked with Edmund Quincy Muntslag a.k.a “Blue” to smuggle cocaine into the United States starting in or about December of 2011. In late June, Bouterse was caught smuggling a suitcase filled with 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cocaine and brandishing a anti-tank weapon aboard a commercial flight from Suriname to the Caribbean. Bouterse is facing a life sentence for the drugs and weapons he was caught with. On top of that he is facing a 15 year sentence for aiding terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The DEA claims that they have recorded meetings between Bouterse and undercover agents posing as Hezbollah fighters. The meetings took place in Panama and Greece. During these meetings Bouterse accepted a $2 million payment, with the promise that he would help Hezbollah fighters establish themselves in Suriname, give them Suriname passports, supply them with surface-to-air missiles and other weapons. He even promised that he would provide them with a list of weapons that they would be able to order via him. This isn’t the first time that Bouterse has been arrested for international crimes. In 2005, he was sentenced to serve eight years in a Suriname prison after being found guilty of trafficking drugs, weapons and stolen cars. After serving only three years of his sentence, he was released for good behavior.
“Alleged criminals like [Dino] Bouterse and his facilitators pose a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States,” said Michelle Leonhart. Leonhart is the Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
In 2010, Bouterse’s father, Dési Bouterse was elected president of Suriname. After the election, Bouterse’ father named him the director of Suriname’s Counter Terrorist Unit. In a nasty twist of fate, the DEA also has hard evidence proving that President Bouterse was in direct contact with the regions top convicted drug trafficker, Roger Khan. The satellite phone records of Khan show President Bouterse’s cell phone number listed numerous times. The phone calls took place towards the end of 2005 until mid-June of 2006.
President Bouterse is making a strong attempt at drawing more so-called “tourist” to the unknown Suriname by hosting events such as the Carifesta festival. He believes that this is a way to highlight the countries ethnic diversity, which includes the countries rainforest. It’s understandable that a rainforest can be seen as a great training location for a terrorist organization such as Hezbollah. In order to perpetuate his propaganda campaign throughout the world, he invited world renown DJ Chuckie to perform at the opening ceremony of this years Carifesta festival. DJ Chuckie was also decorated as ‘Commander of the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star’ by President Bouterse.