U.S. Aims to Financially Impair Suspects
WASHINGTON (AP) _The Bush administration moved Thursday to paralyze financially nine people suspected of having links to a Colombian group that the United States says traffics in drugs and terror.
The action by the Treasury Department means that any assets belonging to those people found in the United States must be blocked and that Americans are forbidden to do business with them.
Six of the nine people suspected of links to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia were indicted by a federal court in Washington as part of a narcotics conspiracy, the department said. Those six were: Jose Juvenal Velandia, Jose Lisandro Lascarro, Alvaro Alfonso Serpa Diaz, Gener Garcia Molina, Gerardo Antonio Aguilar Ramirez and Gentil Alvis Patino.
Also designated was Ferney Tovar Parra, described as a member of the Colombian group, who has been indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in the Southern District of Florida, the department said.
Rodrigo Granda Escobar, an international representative for the Colombian group, and Jesus Emilio Carvajalino, a member of the group’s governing body, also were designated, according to the department.
The group also is known by FARC, the acronym for its Spanish name Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia.
``Today’s action exposes key figures in the violent underworld of the FARC, one of the world’s largest suppliers of cocaine and a notorious Colombian terrorist organization,″ said Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Separately, the department acted to block the financial assets of five Mexican companies and six people who have acted on behalf of fugitive Manuel Aguirre Galindo, a key leader of the Arellano Felix Organization, a major drug trafficking outlet.
The targeted companies are the Tijuana real-estate firms Playa Mar S.A. de C.V; Inmobiliaria Esparta S.A. de C.V.; Inmobiliaria La Provincia S.A. de C.V.; Inmobiliaria Estado 29 S.A. de C.V.; and Inmobiliaria Tijuana Costa S.A. de C.V.
The people targeted included ``long-term financial associates″ of Aguirre Galindo, including Alberto Afredo Valencia Martinez, Urbano Hernandez Somero and Aguirre Galindo’s son, Manuel Francisco Aguirre Ramos, the department said.
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