Police in Honduras confiscate gold-plated and diamond-set AK-47 rifle

Police in Honduras have seized a gold-plated diamond-set AK-47 assault rifle during a raid on a ranch reportedly owned by drug traffickers.

Police officials in the Central American state said the rifle, which was found with two silver magazines, has an exclusive design and could be worth at least US$50,000.

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," says police chief Leonel Sauceda in comments cited by BBC News.

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

In addition, police also found bullet-proof vests and 11 cars and two car-removal lorries at the ranch, about 300 kilometers from the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Honduras plays a large role as a link for cocaine-smuggling from South America to the United States. It has the highest homicide rate in the world, according to a United Nations ranking, with nearly 92 killings per 100,000 habitants in 2011.