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 Treasury Sanctions Mexican Newspaper Executive and Business Owner Tied to the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization

Action Targets Facilitator of Narcotics Trafficking and His Companies
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mexican national Naim Libien Tella and four Mexican entities as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  Naim Libien Tella provides support to the narcotics trafficking activities of the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and its leader, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, both of which were designated earlier this year.  The entities designated today, including the Mexico City-based newspaper Unomasuno, also provide support to the narcotics trafficking activities of the Los Cuinis DTO or are owned or controlled by Gonzalez Valencia and/or Libien Tella.  As a result of today’s action, any assets these designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“Through its relationship with Naim Libien Tella, the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization has used the Mexican newspaper Unomasuno to further its drug trafficking activities,” said Acting OFAC Director John E. Smith.  “Today’s action demonstrates that Treasury, along with its partners in DEA and the Mexican government, will continue to expose and target those who support narcotics traffickers.”
Naim Libien Tella, the vice president of Unomasuno, has had a long relationship with Gonzalez Valencia, who has been involved in drug trafficking since the 1990s.  In 2007, Gonzalez Valencia conferred power-of-attorney for his Guadalajara-based investment company, Valgo Grupo de Inversion, on Libien Tella.  Valgo Grupo de Inversion was also designated today because it is owned or controlled by Gonzalez Valencia and/or Libien Tella.  More recently, Libien Tella and Unomasuno have provided support to the narcotics trafficking activities of Gonzalez Valencia and the Los Cuinis DTO.
The other companies designated today are Toluca-based businesses Diario Amanecer, a Mexican newspaper, and Aerolineas Amanecer, an air taxi company.  Both entities are owned or controlled by, or act for or on behalf of, Naim Libien Tella.
On April 8, 2015, OFAC designated the Los Cuinis DTO and Gonzalez Valencia and its allies, the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and its leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (a.k.a. “Mencho”).  Gonzalez Valencia and Oseguera Cervantes are brothers-in-law, and in March 2014, based on a DEA investigation in Los Angeles, a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicted them on several charges, including being the principal leaders of a Continuing Criminal Enterprise.  Gonzalez Valencia was captured in Mexico in late February 2015, but Oseguera Cervantes remains a fugitive.
The Treasury Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division worked closely to execute today’s action.
Since June 2000, more than 1,800 entities and individuals have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking.  Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million 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 million.  Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.  Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
To see a chart relating to today’s action, click here
To see the identifying information relating to today’s actions, click here.
For a complete listing of designations pursuant to the Kingpin Act, click here.
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