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The Caribbean: Passports to ignominy

DINO BOUTERSE, son of Suriname’s president, Desi Bouterse, will be offered Thanksgiving turkey in a New York jail. Arrested in Panama in August on suspicion of cocaine smuggling and handed over to the United States, he now faces an indictment featuring allegations of passport fraud and aiding terrorists. It would be embarrassing for President Bouterse—if he were embarrassable.Court documents allege that Dino Bouterse linked up in February with two men posing as Mexican drug dealers; they were in fact working for America’s Drug Enforcement Administration. He later gave them Surinamese passports, and showed them a kilo of coke and a rocket launcher he happened to have in his office. He agreed to send 20 kilos a week to Florida.The president’s son was then gulled into going to Greece to meet a purported Hezbollah leader and agreed to help establish a training base in Suriname for up to 60 Hezbollah terrorists, according to the indictment. After being promised $2m, he allegedly agreed to supply heavy weapons, but said he needed two months to check on availability. He gave one of the undercover sources a passport with a false identity and exit stamp, so it would appear that the holder had previously left Suriname with it. He said he had faked the signature himself. He indicated that he would organise bank statements and other documents to support applications for American visas...

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