Strip club owner accused of drug trafficking, money laundering

(posted April 1, 12:00 p.m.)- The Nicaraguan government on Saturday accused Henry Fariñas of international drug trafficking and money laundering, according to the Nicaraguan daily press.

Fariñas, a Nicaraguan strip club owner and concert promoter who was arrested on Friday, was in the same vehicle with Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral last July in Guatemala when gunmen attacked and killed Cabral and left Fariñas seriously injured. Police suspected that the attack was authored by drug dealers as a settling of scores against Fariñas.

Nicaragua’s Special Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Unit has apparently been investigating Fariñas since 2010 for authoring an organized a criminal syndicate that smuggled drugs from Costa Rica to Guatemala, according to the accusation filed against him Saturday. Fariñas’ contact in Costa Rica was alleged drug dealer Alejandro Jiménez, known as “el Palidejo, who was arrested last month in Colombia in connection with the Cabral murder, according to El Nuevo Diario.

According to police, Fariñas gang allegedly smuggled drugs up the Rio San Juan, then across Nicaragua by land hidden in vehicles. Apparently Fariñas double crossed other drug traffickers and tried to sell the drugs himself, which allegedly led to the attack on the vehicle in which he was driving Cabral to the airport.

The folksinger’s only connection to the group was that he knew Fariñas as a concert promoter from Nicaragua, and unfortunately accepted a ride from him.

Six other alleged confederates—including Fariñas’ brother—were also accused in Nicaragua of drug trafficking and money laundering. Three of the men are already behind bars in Nicaragua, and police are requesting capture orders for the other three—including one who reportedly lives in Panama, El Nuevo Diario reported.