Bouterse sentenced to 16 years for attempt to aid Hezbollah

The Department of Justice announced March 10 that Dino Bouterse, a Suriname counter-terrorism official, was sentenced to 16 years and three months in federal prison for attempting to aid Hezbollah.

Bouterse's indictment indicates that he used his position within the government to assist individuals believed to be associated with the terrorist organization in exchange for a multi-million dollar payment. It also states that he allowed Suriname to be a base of operations for the group to carry out attacks against the U.S., and that he gave an individual a false Surinamese passport and cover story so that the Hezbollah operative could travel to the U.S.

“Dino Bouterse was supposed to oppose terrorism,” U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said. “Instead, Bouterse betrayed his official position and tried to support and aid Hezbollah, including his agreement to assist Hezbollah in acquiring weapons and conspiring to import cocaine to the U.S. Today, he has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for those odious crimes.”

Bouterse was arrested in Panama in August 2013 and pleaded guilty on charges of attempting to provide material support to Hezbollah, narcotics trafficking and other firearms offenses.

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