July 15, 2020 / 3:43 AM / 20 days ago

Panama arms trafficking probe leads to 19 arrests

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Nineteen people were arrested in Panama after a series of raids resulting from an investigation into arms trafficking, Panamanian authorities said on Tuesday.

Jorge Miranda, director of the national police, said in a press conference that 28 raids were executed. The raids, which were carried out by police and judicial authorities, took place in the provinces of Panama, West Panama and Veraguas.

“We have both civilians and people who belonged to the security forces involved in the illicit arms trade,” prosecutor Emeldo Marquez said in the news conference.

The Public Ministry said in a statement issued after the press conference that “the trafficking and possession of weapons of different denominations is being investigated, including weapons of war, some acquired by the state and that were in the possession of civilians, including former managers of security forces.”

Authorities did not identify those who were arrested.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore

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