Tuesday, July 9, 2013

 

U.S. targets money laundering network operating out of Colombia

WASHINGTON, July 9 -The Obama administration on Tuesday hit with sanctions 31 persons and entities for their involvement in laundering of proceeds from drug trafficking through a network operating out of Colombia.


The Department of Treasury said the individuals, seven of them Colombian nationals and two others holding a dual citizenship of Colombia and Israel, and 22 companies located in Colombia, Panama and Israel, form the network that launders hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in drug money connected to drug trafficking organizations, including Ayman Saied Joumaa and Linares Castillo who were already put under U.S. sanctions.

For one, Ayman Saied Joumaa's trafficking activities have stretched from South America to Africa and benefited terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group in Lebanon, the Treasury said.

"By designating the individuals and entities behind this money laundering organization, the Treasury Department is taking another step to protect the international financing system from abuse by narcotics traffickers, money launderers and terrorists," the agency said in a statement.

The move bars American citizens from doing business with those targeted and freezes all of their assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

In a separate action, U.S. authorities announced the filing of criminal charges against four defendants, including Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz and his son, Henry Guberek Grimberg, leaders of the money laundering network based in Bogota, capital of Colombia.

The Treasury has blacklisted more than 1,200 individuals and entities linked to 103 drug kingpins worldwide since June 2000.

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