Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The South African police have arrested Nelson Pablo Yester-Garrido, a man described as a former Cuban intelligence officer, on suspicion of drug trafficking.According to his lawyer, Ulich Roux, cited in the South African press on Monday, Yester-Garrido is being charged in connection with 166 kilos of cocaine found in a container that was intercepted in Port Elizabeth, on its way to Maputo. The container was en route to Paraguay. This is almost certainly the same consignment of cocaine that was seized by the police on 25 August in a container supposedly carrying Canola oil from South America. The container was opened at Ngqura port, which is technically just outside Port Elizabeth.At the time, the figure for the bust was given as 160 kilos of cocaine, said to have been worth “hundreds of millions of rands”. This was easily the largest drugs seizure ever in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, and it occurred after the police received a tip-off that an international crime syndicate was about to move drugs through Port Elizabeth on their way to East Africa and possibly Asia. Yester-Garrido is already wanted by the United States for drug smuggling, and the US authorities have been trying to extradite him from South Africa.Roux said that his client “vehemently denies any involvement” in the Port Elizabeth cocaine, “and intends to prove his innocence during the course of his bail application”.

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