Press Center

 Treasury Sanctions Los Urabenos Leadership


7/23/2014

 Action Targets Leaders of the Largest and Most Influential Criminal Group Operating in Colombia

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated 17 leaders and criminal associates of the violent Colombian drug trafficking organization Los Urabenos as specially designated narcotics traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  The Treasury Department today also designated six businesses in Colombia associated with members of Los Urabenos.  As a result of today’s action, all assets of those designated today that are based in the United States or in control by U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. 

 

The President identified Los Urabenos as an SDNT pursuant to the Kingpin Act on May 31, 2013.  Los Urabenos is the largest and most influential “BACRIM” (“banda criminal” or criminal group) currently operating in Colombia.  It is organized as a network of smaller, loosely affiliated regional groups engaged in cocaine and arms trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and drug debt collection.  Numerous members of the group utilize “go-fast vessel operations” – operations that employ small, fast boats which can be difficult to detect and intercept – to move drug loads between Colombia’s Caribbean coast and various locations throughout Central America and Mexico.  Additionally, Los Urabenos has extended its drug trafficking and money laundering operations to Spain.

 

“With its growing network of subordinate criminal groups engaged in activities ranging from money laundering to drug and weapons trafficking, Los Urabenos has spread its significant, violent influence throughout the Americas,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Adam J. Szubin.  “Today’s action strikes a first blow against the leaders of this powerful criminal organization and we will continue to target its assets and accomplices.”

 

Included among the designated individuals is Henry de Jesus Lopez Londono (a.k.a. Mi Sangre),  a key ally of Dairo Antonio and Juan de Dios Usuga David, two Los Urabenos leaders who were previously designated by OFAC on March 18, 2010 as part of the Daniel Rendon Herrera organization.  The Treasury Department also today designated Carlos Antonio Moreno Tuberquia, (a.k.a. Nicolas) and Arley Usuga Torres (a.k.a. Cero Siete), who along with Lopez Londono were indicted in 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the United States.

 

Several other individuals included in today’s designation are former members of Los Machos, a smaller BACRIM that operated in the region around Cali, Colombia.  Los Machos was effectively absorbed by, and now conducts drug trafficking activities under the auspices of, Los Urabenos.  Former members of Los Machos designated today include Greilyn Fernando Varon Cadena (a.k.a. Martin Bala), Orlando Gutierrez Rendon (a.k.a. Negro Orlando), and Carlos Jose Robayo Escobar (a.k.a. Guacamayo).

 

This action was taken in close coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

 

Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,600 entities and individuals, pursuant to the Kingpin Act, since June 2000.  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 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.

 

For a chart regarding today’s action click here.

For a complete listing of designations pursuant to the Kingpin Act, click here.

 

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