LA PAZ – Bolivian Interior Minister Hugo Moldiz said Wednesday there are “serious suspicions” of links between drug traffickers and the family of former national police chief Oscar Nina, whose wife and sons were arrested this week.
“The family is being investigated for suspected links with drug trafficking,” Moldiz told reporters in La Paz after a Cabinet meeting.
Oscar Nina headed Bolivia’s National Police in 2010-2011. His wife and two sons were detained Tuesday in the eastern city of Santa Cruz on charges of money laundering and illegal enrichment.
Prosecutors are investigating seven people in connection with the case, including Oscar Nina, though the former chief is not under arrest.
“The Interior Ministry has an ongoing investigation against police involved in crimes related to drug trafficking,” Moldiz said. “So, we commend the detentions in recent hours because we think that it sends the clear message that there will be no complicity and that police must act accordingly.”
“We believe this has been a good first step and now the courts must expedite the resolution of this case to set a precedent,” the minister said.
In 2011, another Bolivian senior police officer, Gen. Rene Sanabria, who had led an elite counter-narcotics unit, was condemned in the United States to 14 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine.