Peru police to press charges against alleged Hezbollah detainee

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian police said on Monday they will press charges against a foreign man arrested in Lima last month, after finding him with traces of explosives and getting his confession to being a member of the Shi’ite Islamist movement Hezbollah.

Authorities have not said what they are charging the man with nor why they initially investigated him.

Police found traces of explosives on the man’s hands and in the house where he was staying upon his arrest on October 28, said Peru’s police director Jorge Flores.

“He has accepted being a member of Hezbollah,” Flores told reporters about his confession while in police custody. “The investigation has concluded and corresponding paperwork will be processed. Today he is going to be made available to the attorney’s general office as a detainee.”

The man had initially presented falsified documents that identified him as from Sierra Leone, Flores added.

The United States has designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization since 1997, and U.S. officials have sought to limit the group’s operations in South America.

They have expressed concern in particular about Iran supporting Hezbollah activities around the triple border area of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Richard Chang