US authorities have arrested two relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for allegedly trying to smuggle 800 kilograms of cocaine into New York.
The arrest of the men — nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores — is the latest in a series of smuggling accusation striking at the highest echelons of political and military power in the socialist South American nation.
One of the suspects, Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, is among the most powerful members of Venezuela’s revolutionary government and is a constant presence alongside Maduro.
“Venezuelan officials are deep into the drug trade and money-laundering,” a law-enforcement source told The Post on Wednesday.
Still, “so far, this particular case involves only the two listed defendants.”
Flores and the second suspect, Francisco Flores de Freitas, were arrested by local police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Tuesday and flown by US Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York on Wednesday, sources told The Post.
They are due to appear before a judge in Manhattan federal court Thursday.
After his arrest, Campo Flores identified himself to agents as a son of the First Lady and Maduro’s stepson.
Both suspects were traveling on diplomatic passports but don’t have diplomatic immunity, according to Michael Vigil, the former head of international operations at the DEA.
The two had contacted a DEA confidential informant in Honduras in October, asking for help in transporting 800 kilos of coke through the airport in the Venezuelan island of Roatan, sources said.
The suspects even brought a kilo of the coke to the informant to show its quality. The narcotics’ final destination was to be New York.
Venezuela’s Communications Ministry and Foreign Ministry declined comment on the arrest.
Prosecutors in New York, Washington and Miami are pursuing multiple investigations into drug trafficking and money-laundering involving top Venezuelan military, police and government officials.
Diosdado Cabello, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly and considered the second most powerful man in the country, is among those under investigation, US officials have said.
Venezuela is considered a hub for the passage of Colombian cocaine into the US.