Venezuela nabs 3 Colombian paramilitary suspects

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 13, 2010 04:33

 
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CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan intelligence agents have apprehended three suspected members of a Colombian paramilitary group, including a police officer from a town near the countries' shared border, and seized a weapons cache, President Hugo Chavez's government announced Sunday.

The suspects were nabbed last week during a sting operation in Rubio, a quaint town located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Venezuela's border with Colombia, according to a government statement. They are being questioned by prosecutors.

The suspects — Luis Arfilio Salcedo Fernandez, a state police officer, Rivera Ardila Enadir, the officer's wife, and Albarracin Romero Enadir — are alleged members of a Colombian paramilitary group known as "The Black Eagles," which operates in several states along the border, the statement said. The group is involved in extortion, kidnappings and drug smuggling, among other illegal activities.

Agents from the Sebin intelligence agency seized two assault rifles, a submachine gun, a revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun and a tear gas canister along with ammunition for the firearms, according to Sunday's statement.

Authorities are trying to identify others members of the group.

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