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Major money-laundering network in Panama targeted by US

king pin


by Joseph Earnest  May 15, 2014


Newscast Media WASHINGTONThe United States has announced that it is blocking the assets of eight individuals and 20 entities connected to a Panama-based drug kingpin.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated persons and entities connected to Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly as specially designated narcotics traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), according to a May 14 department news release. The individuals were targeted for supporting Cheaitelly, who leads a Panama-based drug-trafficking and money-laundering organization that stretches across the globe.

The action blocks all U.S. property and property interests of the individuals and entities and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with them.

“Today’s action highlights the critical role that some Panamanian attorneys and resident agents play in helping known drug-trafficking organizations establish shell companies that facilitate the flow and laundering of illicit proceeds,” said Adam J. Szubin, who directs the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Treasury will continue to keep a close watch on these types of deceptive activities, and we will continue to target those using shell companies for money-laundering purposes,” Szubin said.

Cheaitelly was arrested in Costa Rica in 2011 for his significant role in international money-laundering activities and extradited to the United States in 2012. Key associates in his organization include Panamanian attorney Jorge Plata McNulty; his father, Ignacio Plata Rivera; and several Panamanians who help launder narcotics proceeds through Panamanian shell companies.

Click here to view network of money laundering ring in Latin America.(pop-up)

Since June 2000 more than 1,500 individuals and entities have been named under the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Individual violators face civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation and more severe criminal penalties. Corporate officers face penalties of up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million, while criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face fines and up to 10 years in prison.   Add Comments>>















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