TIJUANA, Mexico – Soldiers raided the home of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, one of Mexico’s most flamboyant businessmen and politicians, and detained him on suspicion of illegal weapons possession Saturday.
Troops found 88 guns in the gambling impresario’s house, the federal Attorney General’s Office said.
Mexican law limits ownership of large firearms to the military and requires licensing of most other guns.
Hank Rhon’s lawyer, Adela Ruvalcaba, said she was seeking a court order to prevent him being held without charges.
Hank Rhon was mayor of Tijuana from 2004 to 2007. He is a self- proclaimed billionaire who owns a dog track, a nationwide chain of off-track betting parlors and the Tijuana soccer team that last month won advancement into Mexico’s top soccer league.
His private zoo at one point had 20,000 animals, five times more than the famous San Diego Zoo across the border.
In addition to 40 rifles and 48 handguns, the Attorney General’s Office said troops found 9,298 cartridges, 70 ammunition clips and a gas grenade.
Copters beef up NATO campaign
BENGHAZI, Libya – British and French attack helicopters struck for the first time inside Libya on Saturday, giving the NATO campaign more muscle against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. Hours later, Tripoli was hit by another round of airstrikes and at least eight explosions sounded in the capital.
The use of helicopters significantly ramped up NATO’s operations and was a major boost to Libyan rebels, just a day after the fighters forced government troops from three western towns and broke the siege of a fourth. It was yet another erosion of Gadhafi’s power since the eruption in mid-February of the uprising to end his 42-year rule.