Treasury cracks down Colombian drug cartel

Sept. 14, 2004 at 1:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday cracked down on 23 Colombian businesses and 118 individuals as drug traffickers.

Treasury said those involved were acting as fronts for the Cali drug cartel and its leaders, Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela. Their activities have centered around drugstore chains Drogas La Rebaja and Copservir as well as Farmacoop, a pharmaceutical company and cosmetics maker Comepop. Treasury will freeze any assets found in the United States by those involved and prohibit all of their financial and commercial transactions with U.S. entities.

The crackdown "assails the financial infrastructure of the notorious Cali drug cartel," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial Intelligence. "We are committed to dismantling the operations of drug kingpins and their cartels by exposing, isolating and incapacitating their agents and sham companies and by denying them access to the U.S. financial system."

The latest roundup adds to the 379 other Colombian drug cartel businesses already on Treasury's specially designated narcotics traffickers list.

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