U.S. Embassy Official in Guyana Accused of Human Trafficking, Exchanging Visas for Sex

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A state department officer was fired from his post in Georgetown, Guyana, after he was accused of exchanging visas for sex and money, participating in a massive human trafficking operation and carousing with drug lords, The Daily Caller reported.

The official issued visas to dozens of Guyanese women in exchange for sex, as well as sold visas to drug dealers for as little as $15,000 a piece, The Guyana Observer News reported.

Other executives and tourists have claimed their visa applications were being held up. Last week, the state department acknowledged a probe was launched as the result of “allegations of improprieties relating to a consular officer formerly assigned to Georgetown, Guyana.”

The Daily Caller indentified the target of that prode at Edy Zohar Rodrigues Duran of Falls Church, Va.

The agency France Presse reported last week that Duran “had negotiated to sell visas for as much as $40,000, using a popular restaurant and bar in Georgetown, the capital of this former British colony, to seal the deals.”

The restaurant-bar was apparently a popular hangout for drug lords in Georgetown.

“The Hibiscus was Duran’s main meeting place,” Benschop told TheDC. “There are others he would frequent, but the Hibiscus was an almost daily call.”

Duran was fired from his post in June, Mark Benschop and Julia Johnson, two Guyanese journalists, told TheDC.

The investigation into his actions is still ongoing, and it is not clear if authorities plan to charge him with any crime.

Sources: The Daily Caller, Guyana Observer News