Press Center

 Treasury Targets FARC Financial Network in Colombia


4/22/2008

To view or print the PDF content on this page, download the free Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®.

hp-938

 

Washington −The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated two entities and four individuals for acting on behalf of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, a narco-terrorist group.

"Today's designation continues our targeted campaign to take down the FARC's financial networks, especially those utilized to launder their narcotics proceeds," said Barbara C. Hammerle, Deputy Director of OFAC. "This is OFAC's third action in the last five months against the FARC's deadly narco-terrorist organization. Our actions complement the efforts of the Colombian government against the FARC."

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

Today's designations focus on a FARC financial network that involves two Colombian money exchange business, Cambios El Trebol and Cambios Nasdaq Ltda. Both are based in Bogota, Colombia. The FARC used these Colombian money exchange businesses, or "profesionales del cambio" as they are commonly known in Colombia, to launder narcotics proceeds. Cambios El Trebol and Cambios Nasdaq Ltda. accepted foreign currency from the FARC that was derived from drug sales. In exchange, the two businesses provided pesos to the FARC that could fund its activities in Colombia. Myriam Rincon Molina and Jose Edilberto Camacho Bernal, two individuals who are tied to these money exchange businesses and who act on behalf of the FARC, were also designated today.

Today's OFAC action also targets Nilson Calderon Velandia (alias "Villa") and Carlos Olimpo Diaz Herrera, both major drug traffickers for the FARC. Nilson Calderon Velandia is responsible for the production and sale of cocaine for the FARC's 27th Front and also manages contacts with other drug traffickers who export the FARC's drugs from Colombia. Carlos Olimpo Diaz, in addition to being responsible for the production and sale of cocaine for the FARC's 27th Front, owns Cambios Nasdaq Ltda.

The FARC's 27th Front is led by Luis Eduardo Lopez Mendez (alias "Efren Arboleda"), who ultimately reports to FARC Secretariat Member Victor Julio Suarez Rojas (alias "Mono Jojoy"). Suarez Rojas is the FARC's Chief of Military Operations and has served as commander of the Eastern Bloc of the FARC. Victor Julio Suarez Rojas and Luis Eduardo Lopez Mendez were previously designated by OFAC on February 18, 2004, and November 1, 2007, respectively.

Today's action today continues ongoing efforts under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide. In addition to the 68 drug kingpins that have been designated by the President, 392 businesses and individuals have been designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000. Today's designation would not have been possible without support from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Today's designation action freezes any assets the six designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and entities. 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.

REPORTS

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

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


-30-

Bookmark and Share