The capture of the mercenaries — including a former Venezuelan army sergeant and a Bolivian national guardsman — brings the number of combatants taken into custody to 34, among them two ex-US Special Forces members who were leading the failed attempt to kidnap the Venezuelan strongman.
The report comes just days after American mercenaries Luke Denman and Airan Berry appeared on Venezuelan television admitting their role in the wild May 3 attack, which authorities said was orchestrated by controversial ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau and Gen. Cliver Alcala, a Venezuelan army defector.
Goudreau reportedly helped set up the raid to cash in on a $15 million US bounty for Maduro’s capture.
Alcala was jailed on drug charges in the US prior to the attempted attack, and Goudreau remained in Florida, where he runs a private security company, SilverCorp, that helped secure weapons for the raid.
The doomed attack, led by two boatloads of combatants, was quickly thwarted, with eight mercenaries killed and the others — including Denman and Berry — taken into custody.
On Saturday, Venezuelan authorities said three more boats, described as Colombian light combat vessels filled with arms, were found floating and empty by a patrol on the Orinoco River,
In a statement, the Venezuelan Defense Ministry said the boats and the newly captured mercenaries were found during stepped-up patrols in the wake of the failed assault.
Maduro has blamed the US, the Colombian government, and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido with backing the raid.
President Trump has denied any US involvement.