Guatemala urges guard probe after cash, crocodiles found in prison

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) -Guatemala's penitentiary system has requested authorities investigate more than 100 prison guards for charges including possible abuse of power, the government said in a statement on Tuesday, after a prison clean-out revealed hidden cash and even pets.

Of the guards, 102 worked at a prison known as "El Infiernito" (The Little Hell) around 50 miles (80 km) south of the capital, which until early this month housed a couple hundred suspected members of the Barrio 18 criminal gang.

On June 2, authorities in the Central American country transferred the 225 prisoners held in the complex in order to take back control of the building from its occupants.

The following day, authorities found nearly $24,000 in hidden cash stashes, 30 mobile phones and a variety of animals that were being kept as pets - including raccoons, hawks and crocodiles.

The penitentiary system called for a probe into possible abuse of power, breach of duty, disobedience, failure to disclose and usurping of power against the guards at the prison.

It also called for a separate investigation into six more guards over an interrupted transfer of a prisoner to a medical clinic.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Kylie Madry)