Thursday, September 8, 2011

Treasury Designates Four Venezuelan Officials for Providing Arms and Security to the FARC

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of four Venezuelan government officials pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for acting for or on behalf of the narco-terrorist organization the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), often in direct support of its narcotics and arms trafficking activities. 

“Today’s action exposes four Venezuelan government officials as key facilitators of arms, security, training and other assistance in support of the FARC’s operations in Venezuela,” said OFAC Director Adam Szubin. “OFAC will continue to aggressively target the FARC’s support structures in Venezuela and throughout the region.”

As a result of today’s action, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with today’s designees and any assets that they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. OFAC designated the following individuals for sanctions today:

Amilcar Jesus Figueroa Salazar (“Tino”): a member of Venezuela’s delegation to the Latin American Parliament (Parlamento Latinamericano) who has served as a primary arms dealer for the FARC, and is a main conduit for FARC leaders based in Venezuela. He has also provided training for the FARC. 
Cliver Antonio Alcala Cordones: a Major General of the Fourth Armored Division of the Venezuelan Army who has used his position to establish an arms-for-drugs route with the FARC.
Freddy Alirio Bernal Rosales: a Congressman for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and former Mayor of the Libertador Municipality of Caracas who has facilitated arms sales between the Venezuelan government and the FARC. 
Ramon Isidro Madriz Moreno (“Amin”): a key officer of Venezuela’s intelligence service (SEBIN) who has coordinated security for the FARC.

The U.S. Department of State designated the FARC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 in 2001. The FARC was identified by the President as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2003.

Today’s action continues Treasury’s ongoing efforts under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their networks across the globe. Treasury has designated more than one thousand individuals and entities worldwide pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000. 

Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

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