Latin America & Caribbean

Honduras police seize $50,000 gold-plated AK-47 rifle

Gold-plated AK-47 assault rifle
The signature 'Versagi' on the expensive rifle is believed to be its designer's

The authorities in Honduras have seized a gold-plated, jewel-encrusted AK-47 assault rifle, complete with two silver magazines.

The gun, estimated to be worth more than $50,000 (£30,000), is believed to belong to drug traffickers.

Following a tip-off, police also found a number of weapons, along with other military equipment and passports.

Two security guards were detained during the raid at a ranch 300km (186 miles) from the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Honduran authorities said the gold-plated rifle had an engraving associated with the Malverde drug gang - which is allegedly connected to Mexico's Zetas cartel.

"It's an exclusive design and a fine carving," said police chief Leo­nel Sau­ce­da.

More than 30 other weapons were found, including assault rifles, grenade launchers and grenades, night-vision kits, bayonets and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police also found bullet-proof vests and 11 cars and two car-removal lorries.

Hon­du­ras has the highest homicide rate in the world, according to a UN ranking, with nearly 92 killings per 100,000 habitants in 2011.

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