Mexico says foiled plan to smuggle in Gaddafi son

MEXICO CITY Wed Dec 7, 2011 11:12pm IST

Saadi Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, kicks the ball during his team Al-Ahli's training session in Hamrun outside Valletta, in this June 6, 2000 file photo. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/Files

Saadi Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, kicks the ball during his team Al-Ahli's training session in Hamrun outside Valletta, in this June 6, 2000 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi/Files

Related Topics

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico uncovered and stopped an international plot to smuggle late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi into the country using fake names and false papers, authorities said on Wednesday.

Four people were arrested on November 10 and 11, they said, over an elaborate plan to settle Saadi Gaddafi, who is now in Niger, and his family on Mexico's Pacific coast using forged documents, safe houses and private flights.

Mexican officials got a tip about the network - which included Mexican, Danish and Canadian members - in September, Interior Minister Alejandro Poire said.

In preparation for the family's arrival, the criminal ring bought properties around Mexico, created fake identities and opened bank accounts with the aim of settling them near Bahia de Banderas, home to the popular tourist destination Puerto Vallarta.

The network arranged for private flights to smuggle in the family and established identities under assumed names, including Moah Bejar Sayed and Amira Sayed Nader.

The plotters themselves used a network of flights between Mexico, the United States, Canada, Kosovo and the Middle East to plan the route and organize the logistics for Saadi Gaddafi's arrival, Poire said.

"Mexican officials ... succeeded in avoiding this risk, they dismantled the international criminal network which was attempting this and they arrested those presumed responsible," he told a news conference.

A Canadian woman, Cynthia Ann Vanier, was the ringleader of the plot and directly in touch with the Gaddafi family, Mexican authorities said.

Also arrested was a Danish man, Pierre Christian Flensborg, who authorities said was in charge of logistics, and two Mexicans, Jose Luis Kennedy Prieto and Gabriela Davila Huerta, also known as de Cueto.

Saadi Gaddafi's lawyer Nick Kaufman said his client was still in Niger, where he fled as his father's 42-year rule crumbled in August. Niger has said he would remain in the West African nation until a United Nations travel ban is lifted.

"He is fully respecting the restraints placed on him presently by the international community," Kaufman told Reuters.

Like many senior members of the Gaddafi regime, Saadi, a businessman and former professional soccer player, was banned from traveling and had his assets frozen by a U.N. Security Council resolution when violence erupted earlier this year.

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Obama In India

Reuters Showcase

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Rebels press Ukraine offensive, Obama promises steps against Russian-backed "aggression"  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Sweet revenge for Murray as old guard hold firm   Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

Dolly ki Doli is a breezy watch, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage