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Surinamese Police Official Sought

August 23, 1999 GMT

PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) _ Interpol is seeking a high-ranking official in Suriname’s police force on Belgian drug trafficking charges, the country’s police chief said Sunday.

Ruben Peiter, head of the South American country’s riot police, was traveling outside the country, police chief Carlo Hunsel said in an interview on Radio Apintie.

Hunsel said he was discussing the issue of the warrant with Suriname’s attorney general. He gave no further details.

Suriname has been criticized recently by other countries for failing to curb drug and weapons smuggling. Peiter is the latest in a string of Surinamese officials sought by Dutch authorities in connection with drug-related crimes.

In July a Dutch court convicted former Surinamese dictator Desi Bouterse in his absence on charges of drug smuggling. Suriname has refused to extradite Bouterse, who is appealing the verdict.

In March, a Dutch court sentenced former Surinamese rebel leader Ronnie Brunswijk, a former bodyguard to Bouterse, to eight years in prison for cocaine trafficking. He also remains free in Suriname.