4 arrests made in Colombia-based international money laundering investigation

Posted on Mar 21 2014 - 11:58am by Rico

Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Friday the capture of four individuals wanted by the United States on charges related to money laundering, reported national and international media.

Josue Ariel Rodríguez, Leonardo Forero Ramirez, Juan Carlos Medina and Ubaner Acevedo Espinosa were arrested in connection with “Stock Block,” a six-year operation led by Colombian investigative police and military forces, according to the Spanish EFE newswire.

Authorities claim the four suspects were part of an international criminal network composed of experts from the financial and securities industry, and that the men taken into custody laundered money using leadership positions in Colombian financial institutions.

The organization is accused of laundering at least $6 million of drug money through phony front companies, using names of dead people in order to solicit public works contracts in the south of the country and then presenting the funds as foreign investment.

The first phase of Stock Block led to the February 2012 arrest of nine persons for extradition. The second phase led to the capture of known stock-brokers Carlos Eduardo Leyton Sinisterra and Fanny Esperanza Gil Vivas, who are now in a United States prison.

The suspects are expected to be tried in US federal court in the state of Florida, and would be sentenced to US prison should their prosecution result in a conviction.


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