The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated two high-ranking members of the violent Colombian drug trafficking organization Los Urabeños as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). In addition, OFAC designated two businesses in Colombia controlled by a member of Los Urabeños. As a result of today’s action, any assets of these individuals and entities that are under US jurisdiction or under the control of US persons are frozen, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“Today’s designation targets members of Los Urabeños who have endeavored to expand the violent drug trafficking organization’s international influence,” said OFAC Acting Director John E. Smith. “Treasury will continue to aggressively expose and disrupt the global financial and distribution networks of Los Urabeños and its illicit supporters.”
Los Urabeños has recently endeavored to extend its drug trafficking and money laundering operations to Europe.
On May 31, 2013, President Obama identified Los Urabeños (also known as Clan Usuga) as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act. Los Urabeños is currently the largest BACRIM (banda criminal or criminal group) operating in Colombia. It is organized as a network of smaller, loosely affiliated groups engaged in cocaine and arms trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and drug debt collection. Numerous members of the group utilize go-fast vessel operations to move drug loads between Colombia’s Caribbean coast and various locations throughout Central America and Mexico. Additionally, Los Urabeños has recently endeavored to extend its drug trafficking and money laundering operations to Europe.
The individuals designated today include Victor Alfonso Mosquera Perez (a.k.a. “Negro Mosquera”), who is involved in controlling narcotics trafficking operations for Los Urabeños from Colombia to Europe. Also included in the designation is Alveiro Feo Alvarado (a.k.a “Benavides”), a financial chief for Los Urabeños who was involved in forging alliances with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and rival Colombian drug trafficking organization Los Rastrojos. Feo Alvarado was also involved in narcotics trafficking in Colombia on behalf of Los Urabeños. Mosquera Perez and Feo Alvarado were indicted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida on narcotics-related charges in May and September 2014, respectively.
Also designated today are two Colombian companies controlled by Mosquera Perez: De Expomineria S.A.S. is a mining company based in Medellin, Colombia, and Joyeria MVK is a jewelry business based in the Urabá region in Northern Colombia.
Since June 2000, more than 1,800 individuals and entities have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. 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 up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could 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.