Former Cuban Intelligence Officer Appears in South African Court
JOHANNESBURG, April 24 (Xinhuanet) -- A former Cuban intelligence
officer, who was arrested on an Interpol warrant, appeared in a
local court here on Wednesday.
Nelson Pablo Yester-Garrido was arrested on Tuesday in Hyde
Park in Johannesburg allegedly driving a stolen vehicle. He is
being held at the Pretoria Central Prison.
Yester-Garrido was remanded in custody to May 3 when he would
face an extradition hearing. His case was postponed pending
further investigations and for him to obtain legal representation.
He is wanted on racketeering and drug trafficking charges,
including conspiracy to import or distribute narcotics and the use
of communication facilities to commit a felony.
On Tuesday, United States embassy spokeswoman Judy Moon said
the Yester-Garrido investigation was an international manhunt
involving special agents from various U.S. government departments.
Moon said Yester-Garrido was allegedly a member of an
organization that supervised and controlled the shipment and
delivery of cocaine and laundered the money received from the
The trafficking took place between South America, the United
States and countries within the former Soviet Union (especially
Russia), Moon said.
Yester-Garrido was previously indicted in Miami in 1991 for
racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
He fled the Florida area after violating his U.S. federal
probation, which was based on his conviction for possession of a
false U.S. passport.
He first entered South Africa in 1997.