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Facebook Photos Seem To Show The
Violent Life Of Surinames Ruling Family
HUNTER WALKER - SEPTEMBER 3, 2013, 6:00
AM
The son of Surinames president is currently in Manhattan awaiting trial on charges he
brandished a rocket launcher while working to smuggle cocaine into the United States. Dino
Bouterse, whose strongman father, Desi, has been accused of allegedly murdering political rivals
and also trafficking drugs, was arrested in Panama on Aug. 29, according to U.S. authorities. He
was subsequently turned over to the U.S. and brought to Manhattan, where he appeared in
court last Friday and pleaded not guilty.
Facebook profiles examined by TPM since Dino Bouterses arrest that appear to belong to him
and his relatives show the opulent and violent lifestyle of Surinames ruling family. Photos on
these Facebook pages include shots of luxury vacations, fancy homes, cars, and selfies
showing off jewelry and designer clothing. The pictures also include something more sinister
multiple images of heavy weaponry and drug dealing paraphernalia.
The two-count indictment filed against Dino Bouterse and his co-defendant Edmund Quincy
Muntslag in a federal court in Manhattan Aug. 20 accuses Dino Bouterse of having brandished
firearms in the furtherance of his narcotics conspiracy including a Light-Antitank Weapon,
which is a launcher containing a rocket, and pistols. The indictment also accuses Dino Bouterse
of having caused a suitcase containing 10 kilograms of cocaine to be transported from
Suriname to the Caribbean on board a commercial flight. Muntslag is accused of having
traveled to an airport in Suriname in order to make arrangements for the transport of the 10
kilograms of cocaine. Both men are accused of conspiring with others known and unknown
from at least December 2011 up until last month to import cocaine into the United States from
a place outside thereof.
Dino Bouterses court-appointed attorney, Christopher Flood, put off a request for bail and
Bouterse will be held until his next hearing, which is set for Sept. 9. Neither Flood or Surinames
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mission to the UN immediately responded to a request for comment on this story.
The charges against Dino Bouterse arent the first allegations of drug trafficking made against
him and his family. In 2005, Dino Bouterse was convicted in Suriname of leading a ring that
trafficked in cocaine, illegal arms and stolen luxury cars. He was released from prison in 2008.
Desi Bouterse first took power in Suriname in 1980 when he led a military coup. The military
dictatorship remained in power until about 1988. In 1999, a court in the Hague convicted Desi
Bouterse in absentia for allegedly leading an international cocaine cartel. France also has a
warrant out on Desi Bouterse on international drug smuggling charges, and U.S. diplomatic
cables released by Wikileaks accused him of narcotics trafficking. In Suriname, Desi Bouterse
also faces charges for allegedly killing 15 of his political rivals in 1982. That case is still ongoing.
In spite of his various legal woes, Desi Bouterse was elected to lead Suriname again by the
parliament in 2010. Almost a year later, a New York Times report noted Desi Bouterses election
spurred fears of a possible return to the time when Suriname, once a magnet for Western
mercenaries and Colombian drug cartels, was renowned for its openness to criminal enterprise.
It is difficult to confirm with complete certainty whether the Facebook profiles that seemingly
belong to Dino Bouterse and his family members are legitimate. However, there are many
indications they are genuine.
The Facebook page identified as belonging to Dino Bouterse contains multiple pictures where his
face is clearly visible that match other known photos. One picture shows his father the president
standing behind President Barack Obama at an event.
Other pages connected to Dino Bouterses profile also seem to support its legitimacy. These
include the official Facebook profile of President Desi Bouterses political party, Nationale
Democratische partij. Other friends of the profile identified as Dino Bouterses include multiple
accounts seemingly belonging to NDP members of Surinames parliament. The pages seemingly
belonging to the members of Parliament contain many pictures that match their official photos
and include a mix of both personal and official shots.
Comments posted on photos that appear on the Dino Bouterse Facebook page also refer to him
as the son of the president.
Happybirth day with daddy boy enjoy it and take care of him our President of Suriname, reads
one comment posted on the Dino Bouterse page.
The Dino Bouterse Facebook profile is also connected to multiple others bearing the surname of
his co-defendant, Muntslag. It is also connected to at least ten profiles with the Bouterse
surname. These apparent family members include a profile for Jen-ai Bouterse, who is listed on
the page as Dino Bouterses sister. There is little information about President Bouterses extended
family online, however multiple local forums describe him as having a daughter named Jen-ai.
The 318 photos posted on Jen-ais Facebook page all bear a resemblance to a picture of her
posted on a Surinamese news site. On the Jen-ai Bouterse Facebook page there is also a picture
that appears to show President Desi Bouterses wife, Ingrid. That photo was captioned Mamsje
and multiple commenters refer to it as depicting the first lady. If the Dino and Jen-ai Bouterse
profiles are fake, it would be a hoax involving an extensive network of profiles and hundreds of
photos posted over the course of at least three years.
In addition to Jen-ai Bouterse, the Dino Bouterse profile is connected to at least ten other
Bouterses. Though the only weapon depicted in the five photos visible on Dino Bouterses page
appears to be a paintball gun, several of the other Bouterses on his friends list display far more
fearsome weaponry. One Facebook friend of Dinos, Patrick Bouterse (relation unknown), has
several photos showing him and others carrying machine guns. In one picture, Patrick Bouterse
is shown seemingly pointing a large gun at another man who he is grabbing by the neck
(pictured above). Another shot shows a man brandishing what seems to be an AK-47 and
wearing a dark skeleton mask. The circumstances of the photos are not clear. Along with the
shots of guns, Patrick Bouterses Facebook photos include a picture that shows common drug
trafficking equipment: electronic scales and a cash-counting machine. In addition to the shots
of weapons, many of the Bouterses Facebook profiles include pictures of them showing off
fancy jewelry and cars.
TPM attempted to send messages to Patrick Bouterse and all the other Facebook users
referenced in this post. None of them immediately responded although Patrick Bouterse
accepted a friend request from TPM. We were unable to communicate with the Dino Bouterse
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Facebook page as it does not accept messages from users who are not already friends.
View some of the photos posted by the Bouterses on Facebook below.
The main profile photo on the Dino Bouterse Facebook page.
A photo from a Facebook page connected to Dinos and listed as belonging to Patrick Bouterse.
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Another picture from Patrick Bouterses page.
Photo from the Jen-ai Bouterse Facebook page that appears to show President Desi Bouterses
wife, Ingrid.
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A picture that seems to show scales and a cash counting machine from the Patrick Bouterse
Facebook page.
The interior of a Lexus seen on the Patrick Bouterse Facebook page.
A photo of an armed woman from a Facebook page connected to Dinos and listed as belonging
to Stephanie Bouterse.
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A picture from Patrick Bouterses Facebook page.
Photo showing a gun from a Facebook friend of Dino Bouterse named Ralph Bouterse.
View the full indictment against Dino Bouterse below.
Indictment: USA v. Bouterse et al
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