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#508: Six Haitian police officers face cocaine charges (fwd)


Six Haitian police officers face cocaine charges                     
02:22 p.m Sep 16, 1999 Eastern   By Jennifer Bauduy 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Six police officers suspected
of stealing a haul of cocaine discovered in a  boat heading for Miami
have been detained by Haitian authorities, a police spokesman said on
Thursday. The officers found the drugs on Sunday night in the Lady
Caridad, a boat whose owner has not been identified, docked off the
northern city of Cap Haitien. The officers reported discovering only 22
pounds (10 kg) of cocaine, while as much as 1,543 pounds (700 kg) was
believed to have have been on board, according to Radio Haiti Inter.  
Police spokesman Jean-Dady Simeon said he could not confirm the
quantity. In recent weeks, Haiti's police have accelerated efforts to
dismantle a network that authorities said transfers drugs from Colombia
through Haiti to the United States and other places. On Wednesday,
police arrested a Colombian they identified as Galvez Zapeta Jose Elmeto
in connection with the discovery of 13 pounds (6 kg) of cocaine at
Port-au-Prince's international airport in the false bottom of a suitcase
arriving from Panama. Police also seized 15 pounds (7 kg) of cocaine and
arrested at least nine people with more than $1.6 million taped to their
bodies heading for Miami and Panama, Radio Haiti reported. Simeon said
police are searching for a Colombian known only  by the name ``Gustavo''
who heads the cartel in Haiti. Simeon said they suspected he had fled to
the neighbouring Dominican  Republic. ``As Haiti prepares for elections,
the national police decided to  intensify the fight against drug
trafficking,'' Simeon said. ``Drugs  increase crime in Haiti, and we
decided to attack the source.'' U.S. government officials estimate that
20 percent of all drugs now reaching the United States pass through