- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities said Wednesday they had broken up an international plot to smuggle a son of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and his family into Mexico under false names and with false Mexican documents.

The elaborate plan to bring al-SaadiGadhafi to Mexico allegedly involved two Mexicans, a Canadian and a Danish suspect, Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said.

The plot was uncovered in early September as al-Saadi Gadhafi was fleeing Libya shortly after his father’s ouster. He never made it to Mexico but did reach the Western African country of Niger, where he has been living.

The plotters allegedly jetted into Mexico, opened bank accounts and bought properties meant to be used as safe houses in several parts of the country, including one at the resort of Bahia de las Banderas on Mexico‘s Pacific coast.

“The large economic resources which this criminal organization has, or had, allowed them to contract private flights,” Mr. Poire told a news conference.

Mr. Poire said the leader of the plot was a Canadian woman he identified as Cynthia Vanier. He said she had been detained Nov. 10 and was being held, along with three other suspects, under a form of house arrest on suspicion of falsifying documents.

Mr. Poire said Ms. Vanier “was the direct contact with the Gadhafi family and the leader of the group, and presumably was the person in charge of the finances of the operation.”

The plot also allegedly involved a Mexican woman who lived in the United States, who Mr. Poire said served as the liaison to obtain the falsified Mexican identity documents.

A Danish man allegedly served as “the logistic liaison” for the plan, Mr. Poire said.

“The activities of the criminal organization in our country included the falsification of official documents, the opening of bank accounts with false documents, the purchase of real estate that were intended, among other things, to serve as a residence for the Gadhafi family at a house located in the zone of the Bahia de Banderas,” just north of the resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mr. Poire said.

The Mexican officials made no mention of MoammarGadhafi himself being involved in the plan. He was ousted from power in late August and was captured and killed in Libya on Oct. 20.