WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said 31 people and businesses, including Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz of Colombia, have been named Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers.
The Department of the Treasury said in a news release Tuesday Ravinovicz and his son, Henry Guberek Grimberg, as well as companies in Colombia, Panama and Israel, "together form a money laundering network responsible for laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money connected to drug trafficking organizations, including Ayman Saied Joumaa and Linares Castillo who were both previously designated by the Treasury Department."
The U.S. attorney's office in Miami also announced criminal charges have been filed against Ravinovicz, Grimberg and Johanna Patricia Ceballos-Bueno for alleged participation "in an international money laundering conspiracy in which they laundered millions of dollars for transnational drug trafficking organizations."
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said the designation is part of a U.S. campaign against international narcotics networks.
"Money laundering is the lifeblood of the narcotics trafficking world," Cohen said.
"These bad actors often depend on international businesses to facilitate the illegal movement of their drug profits," DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville said.
The release said Joumaa's narcotics operations "have stretched from South America to Africa and have benefited terrorist groups such as Hezbollah."
"By designating the individuals and entities behind this money laundering organization, the Treasury Department is taking another step to protect the international financing system from abuse by narcotics traffickers, money launderers and terrorists," the release said.