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 Treasury Targets FARC Financiers and Drug-Traffickers


7/31/2008

HP-1096

Washington, DC--The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated six companies and 13 individuals that act on behalf of and materially assist the narcotics trafficking activities of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a designated narco-terrorist organization. Today's designation, made pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), is OFAC's fifth action against the FARC in the past eight months.

"Today's action is the latest in a series of blows to the FARC and builds on the Colombian government's recent successes against this corrupt narco-terrorist group," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. "Our designation targets the logistical and financial support network of the FARC's 1 st Front, the arm of this terrorist group responsible for holding the hostages recently rescued by the Colombian authorities."

O ne of the FARC individuals sanctioned today, Alexander Farfan Suarez (a.k.a. "Enrique Gafas"), was captured by Colombian authorities during the July 2, 2008 hostage rescue mission that freed three U.S. citizens--Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell--who were held captive roughly five years, as well as 12 other hostages held by the FARC. Also captured was the FARC's 1 st Front commander, Gerardo Antonio Aguilar Ramirez (a.k.a. "Cesar"), who was designated by OFAC on September 28, 2006.

This OFAC sanctions investigation targets a logistical and financial support network of the FARC's 1 st Front, run by Nancy Conde Rubio (a.k.a. "Doris Adriana"). Conde Rubio, arrested by Colombian authorities in February 2008, oversaw individuals and entities that used money derived from FARC narcotics sales to procure weapons, ammunition, communications gear, medical equipment, uniforms, and airplane fuel. Conde Rubio communicated with various persons in the FARC network targeted by this action using Communicaciones Unidas de Colombia Ltda., a call center located in Villavicencio, Colombia, operated by FARC associate Ana Isabel Pena Arevalo. This FARC network laundered its drug trafficking monies through two money exchange businesses or cambistas - Cambios Euro Ltda. and La Monedita De Oro Ltda. - both located in Bogota, Colombia . Two other Bogota-based FARC front companies, Dizriver Y Cia S. En C. and Colchones Sunmoons Ltda., were also designated.

Conde Rubio and eight other individuals sanctioned by OFAC today were named in a February 2008 U.S. federal indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for materially assisting the FARC.

Also designated today is Jose Maria Corredor Ibague (a.k.a. "Boyaco"), considered one of the FARC's most prolific arms-for-drugs traffickers of the past few years. Josue Cuesta Leon (a.k.a. "El Viejo") and Edilma Morales Loaiza, both key arms traffickers involved in the FARC's drug trafficking activities, were also named.

OFAC's sanctions investigation of the FARC's 1 st Front would not have been possible without the support of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

In addition, Exchange Center Ltda., a Colombian cambista linked to the FARC's 27 th Front is being designated by OFAC today. Previously, on May 7, 2008, OFAC designated Mercurio International S.A., a Colombian money exchange house (" casa de cambio") for providing support to the FARC.

On May 29, 2003, President George W. Bush identified the FARC as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act. Previously, in 2001, OFAC designated the FARC as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224, and in 1997 the FARC was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Secretary of State.

Today's action freezes any assets the designated entities and individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions involving those assets. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,075,000 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000,000. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10,000,000. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.

For a complete list of the individuals and entities designated today, please visit:
http://www.treasury.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/

To view previous OFAC actions directed against the FARC, please visit:

 

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