Tegucigalpa, Honduras – Security Minister Gustavo Sánchez confirmed on Monday, January 8 detention of Francisco Roberto CosenzaFormer Executive Director of the Technical Committee on Population Security Ratio Extradition go through USA.
“Francisco Roberto Cosenza Centeno is currently detained by the National Police pending an extradition order, holding him responsible for: 1) conspiracy to launder money; 2) money laundering; 3) deriving from criminal conduct Deal,” Sanchez wrote on his X account (formerly Twitter).
Cosenza was captured by police at his home during an operation on Monday. The former official had expressed a willingness to surrender to authorities weeks ago.
On December 14, 2023, the United States requested the extradition of Francisco Roberto Cosenza.
Cosenza is wanted by the Southern District of Florida on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and engaging in transactions in assets obtained from criminal activity while he was in a public position.
A former official in the administration of former President Juan Orlando Hernández is awaiting trial in New York on drug trafficking charges, crimes he may have committed between 2015 and 2020.
Prosecutor’s Office investigation
According to the prosecutor’s office investigation, Cosenza may have received bribes to award a contract to produce police uniforms to an American businessman.
Other defendants in the conspiracy include Carl Alan Zaglin, 68, the owner of a police uniforms and accessories factory in Georgia, and Aldo Nesto Marchena, 50 Néstor Marchena, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida.
“Between March 2015 and approximately November 2019, Zagrin, Marchena and others allegedly agreed to bribe Honduran government officials, including Cosenza, to obtain funds worth more than $10 million (nearly 250 million lempiras). ) of the Population Security Tax Contract. Current changes)”, designated the Prosecutor’s Office.
In exchange for bribes, Cosenza and other Honduran officials allegedly helped Zagrin, Marchena and others “obtain contracts to sell uniforms and other merchandise for the Honduran National Police and secure payment for the contracts.”
To conceal the bribe payments, Zagrin, Marchena and Cosenza conspired with others to launder the money through bank accounts and front companies in the United States and Belize.
According to the indictment, the conspirators wired more than $166,000 (L4.1 million) to bank accounts controlled by Cosenza and another Honduran official to further the scheme.
“I received instructions from JOH”
After learning of the extradition request against him, the former security tax administrator declared in an interview with news program Hoy Mismo that his role in the office was limited to executing orders.
“Total surprise because I am an executive. The instructions I received from the Security Council were that they ordered me to purchase products for all security entities (called the Ministry of Defense) through the Armed Forces, Police, CSJ and vice versa.”
In this sense, he stressed, “I have a committee above me that decides from whom they are going to buy the product, and once the product arrives, they order the payment to the central bank.”
The body is composed of a director appointed by the government, another director of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (Cohep) and a third representative of civil society.
Likewise, Cosenza claimed he received orders from high-ranking officials, including former President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
“I received orders from the President of the Republic (Juan Orlando Hernández), the Minister of Security, the Minister of Defence, the President of the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Public Affairs,” he said of how the decision was taken.
Cosenza confirmed he had two bank accounts in the United States but ruled out any atypical activity.
This article is signed anonymously to protect its author.