A court in Caracas ruled Thursday that 13 people - including five Trinidadian nationals - arrested last week will be held pending trial on charges of terrorism and criminal conspiracy, the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office said.
The defendants were surprised at a capital hotel in possession of computers, sophisticated communications gear and military apparel, the AG’s office said in a statement.
Immigration inspectors and personnel from the Sebin intelligence service found the group during a search of the hotel for undocumented immigrants.
Three of the defendants, Sebin agent Rafael Duran and police officers Jose Montañez and Fery Molina, were training the other 10 in the use of firearms, the AG’s office said.
Besides the eight citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, the group includes two recently naturalized Venezuelans who hail from Guyana and Haiti, respectively.
The case comes against the backdrop of weeks of anti-government demonstrations that have left 35 dead across Venezuela.
Fatalities include both opponents and supporters of leftist President Nicolas Maduro, as well as bystanders and members of the security forces.
Authorities have charged more than a dozen police and soldiers with violating the human rights of demonstrators, while the government likewise accuses radical opposition elements of fomenting violence.