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Published:January 17th, 2008 14:41 EST
Six Colombian Companies Cleared by OFAC

Six Colombian Companies Cleared by OFAC

By SOP newswire

The U.S. Department of the Treasury`s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced today the removal of six Colombian companies from its list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers. Following their designation, the Colombian Government forfeited the ownership interests held by narcotics traffickers and their family members in each of these companies, paving the way for their delisting.

"Today`s action reflects a major success in our efforts to strike at drug cartels and their illicit riches," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. "OFAC`s continued pressure on the cartels` assets, combined with the Colombian Government`s increasingly successful efforts to seize and forfeit these assets, serves as a powerful weapon against these dangerous narcotics organizations."

OFAC listed these companies as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers in the 1990s because they were owned or controlled by Cali Cartel leaders Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela along with their family members. These designations were taken pursuant to Executive Order 12978 of October 21, 1995, which applies financial sanctions against Colombia`s drug cartels. The Rodriguez Orejuela brothers were the leaders of the Cali drug cartel, once the most powerful cocaine trafficking organization in Colombia. They are now serving prison sentences in the United States after pleading guilty to federal narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges in September 2006.

These six companies are involved in real estate holdings and are located in Cali, Colombia. The companies` names are: Inversiones Miguel Rodriguez e Hijo, Inversiones Rodriguez Arbelaez y Cia. S. en C., Inversiones Rodriguez Moreno y Cia. S. en C., Inversiones y Construcciones Atlas Ltda., Inversiones y Construcciones Cosmovalle Ltda., and M.O.C. Echeverry Hermanos Ltda.

A detailed look at the program against Colombian drug organizations is provided in OFAC`s March 2007 Impact Report on Economic Sanctions against Colombian Drug Cartels: