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 Treasury Targets 15 Leaders of Colombian Narco-Terrorist Group


11/1/2007

 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of fifteen leaders of the Colombian narco-terrorist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC. The individuals sanctioned today include key FARC commanders involved in large-scale drug trafficking activities such as Hermilo Cabrera Diaz, Abelardo Caicedo Colorado, Sixto Antonio Cabana Guillen and Miguel Angel Pascuas Santos. The U.S. Department of State has offered awards of up to $2.5 million for information leading to their arrests and/or capture.

"Cocaine has become the financial lifeblood of the FARC, fueling its nefarious activities, including drug trafficking," said Adam J. Szubin, Director of OFAC. "Today's action continues our assault on the FARC's leadership and its narco-terrorist activities in Colombia and the region."

On May 29, 2003, President Bush designated the FARC as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker or drug kingpin pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act due to its extensive narcotics trafficking activities. The FARC was named as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Secretary of State in October 1997. In addition, the FARC was also designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 in November 2001.

In March 2006, the District Court of the District of Columbia unsealed a federal indictment (known as the FARC indictment) which charges members of the FARC leadership, including the 15 individuals named today by OFAC, on narcotics trafficking charges.  According to the indictment, the FARC is responsible for approximately 60% of the cocaine that makes its way into the United States and is directly involved in the production and distribution of cocaine, including setting the prices paid to poor peasant farmers across Colombia for cocaine paste, a raw form of the drug that is transported to jungle laboratories and turned into cocaine.

This action is part of an ongoing U.S. government effort under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act to apply financial measures against foreign drug kingpins.  OFAC has worked closely with other agencies on this action, including the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, which is comprised of agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration; the New York City Police Department; the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the New York State Police; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Secret Service; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

More than 300 businesses and individuals associated with 68 drug kingpins named by the President have been designated by OFAC pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

The designation blocks any assets of the 15 designees found within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals. 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.

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