November 7, 2002

Danish ex-MP arrested over Colombia arms deal

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (Reuters) --One of four men whose arrests were announced
in the United States for suspected involvement in a $25 million drugs-for-weapons plot is
a former member of the Danish parliament, Danish media said on Thursday.

Uwe Jensen, 66, whom U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft identified on
Wednesday as one of the four in the alleged plot involving a far-right
Colombian paramilitary group, is also a former Danish member of the European

Jensen, who was arrested in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, was a Danish
member of parliament for the far-right populist Fremskridspartiet party in the
late 1970s.

Jensen's lawyer, Erik Sunde, told Danish public service DR1 television that his
client was alleged to have "conspired with other individuals in a $25 million
arms transaction involving a right-wing paramilitary group in Colombia, which
has been designated by the United States as a terrorist organization."

Under U.S. law, the conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum 10 years
up to life in prison. The second charge against the men of having provided
material assistance to a foreign terrorist organization carries a penalty of up to
15 years, Sunde said.

The three other arrested men, two of whom were high-ranking members of the
United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, were all seized in Costa
Rica, Ashcroft said.

The arrests were made following a 13-month investigation code-named
"Operation White Terror" carried out by agents from the FBI and the Drug
Enforcement Administration.

Classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, the
AUC is Colombia's second-largest illegal army.

Copyright 2002 Reuters.