Nicaraguan police have seized at least $7m from 18 individuals who tried to enter the country from Honduras, claiming to be Mexican television workers, authorities have said.

Police chief Aminta Granera said on Friday that the group had tried to enter Nicaragua last Tuesday through the border crossing of Las Manos.

They were traveling in six mini-vans bearing the logo of Televisa, the Mexican state-run television conglomerate, and claimed to be working for it.

The "fake journalists" said they were traveling to Nicaragua to cover the high-profile of trial of suspects in the killing of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral last year.

According to Granera, the money was discovered in hiding places inside the vans during a border inspection.

Police are currently trying to determine if "the suspects have ties to organised crime", said Granera.

She said Televisa had informed Nicaraguan authorities through the Mexican Embassy that none of its television crews had been dispatched to Nicaragua at this moment.

Nicaraguan authorities say they are now working with Interpol to check whether the group has any links with criminal organisations.

Mexican drug-trafficking cartels are known to smuggle drugs and huge sums of money to and from Colombia through Central American countries.

Source: Agencies