After 7.2 million in cash was found in hidden compartments in eight suitcases at a Panama airport, 32 people, including 25 police officers, have been suspended. The 7.2 million in cash was found by Panama police in hidden compartments in the luggage of three men who had flown in from Honduras. According to a Jan. 15, 2014, CNN report, the “money was mostly in U.S. $100 bills.”
After the 7.2 million in cash was found last Saturday by Panamanian police at Tocumen International Airport in Panama, the three Honduran nationals, ages 41, 39 and 32, who were travelling with the hidden large amount of money from Tegucigalpa in Honduras to Panama, were arrested.
Panamanian police call the discovery of the 7.2 million “to be the largest seizure of money in recent years in Panama.”
In a joined operation between Panamanian and Honduran authorities, investigators are trying to determine what powerful drug cartel is behind the large amount of cash. Investigators in Honduras are also trying to determine how it was possible that so much money slipped through airport security.
Since the 7.2 million in cash was found, Televicentro reports that at least 32 people were involved in the trafficking of the money from Honduras to Panama. While the investigation is ongoing, so far 25 police officers, five people in charge of the x-ray machines at the Honduran airport, and two officers of the “Directorate for Combating Drug Trafficking (DLCN) were removed from office.”