US Sees ‘Worrying Trend’ in Venezuela Drug Trafficking

April 18, 2012

In Sight on April 17, 2012 released the following:

“Written by Christopher Looft

A US Treasury official said that the department had observed a “worrying trend” in drug trafficking in Venezuela in the last two years, and that Henry Silva Rangel, now the country’s defense minister, had called for closer government cooperation with the FARC rebel group.

Adam Szubin [], director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), told El Universal that Defense Minister Henry Rangel Silva, who the department designed as a narcotics traffickers in 2008, “has argued for better cooperation between the Venezuelan government and the FARC.”

Rangel Silva was accused by OFAC of “materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities” of the Colombian rebel group. A top intelligence official at the time, he was sanctioned along with another intelligence official and the former interior minister for ties to the group. Another four government officials were designated in 2011.

The Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act targets individuals and businesses with suspected ties to international drug trafficking by freezing their US assets and barring US individuals and businesses from commercial ties with them.

Szubin assured the newspaper that “nobody enters OFAC’s list by mistake.”

InSight Crime Analysis
There have long been accusations of ties between the FARC and elements of the Venezeulan government and military. High-ranking members of the rebels’ ruling Secretariat are thought to use the country as a refuge, as well as a source of weapons and medical care.

These accusations were bolstered earlier this year when President Hugo Chavez appointed Rangel, then a high ranking general, as defense minister, despite the accusations that he has helped the FARC to smuggle drugs. His appointment was likely part of efforts by an ailing Chavez to shore up political power. The ties between the two are strong; as military officers, they collaborated in a 1992 coup attempt.

However, since a rapprochement with the Colombian government in 2012, Venezuela has been working more closely with its neighbor to catch and deport members of the rebel group. In March 2012, Venezuelan authorities cooperated with Colombia to capture one of the group’s founding members.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

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OFAC SDN List Removal

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


U.S. considers Venezuela’s incoming defense chief a drug ‘kingpin’

January 9, 2012
Gen. Henry Rangel Silva
The United States added Gen. Henry Rangel Silva to its drug “kingpin” list in 2008.

CNN on January 7, 2012 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tapped a leading general accused by the United States of being a drug “kingpin” to be the country’s new defense minister.

Gen. Henry Rangel Silva will replace Carlos Mata Figueroa, according to the state-run AVN news agency. Chavez, who called Rangel a “good soldier,” made the announcement Friday in the central city of Guanare, the agency reported.

The United States added Rangel to its kingpin list in 2008 for allegedly providing support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly known as the FARC.

A statement from the Treasury Department then said that the general “materially assisted the narcotics trafficking activities of the FARC,” and pushed for more cooperation between the Venezuelan government and the leftist rebels.

Since 2003, the U.S. government has considered the FARC a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker.”

The action froze whatever assets Rangel may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibited citizens from doing business with him.

He is not the only Venezuelan official designated by the United States as a drug kingpin.

In September, the Treasury Department added lawmaker Freddy Bernal — a Chavez loyalist — and three other officials to the list.

All were accused of allegedly providing support to the FARC, which has been at war with the Colombian government since the 1960s. While severely weakened in recent years, the guerrilla group continues to carry out kidnappings and attack security forces.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers named under the Kingpin Act [SDNTK] Entries Added on OFAC’s SDN List on September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011

As of today, OFAC has added Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers named under the Kingpin Act [SDNTK] Entries to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

The following [SDNTK] entries have been added on OFAC’s SDN list:

ALCALA CORDONES, Cliver Antonio; DOB 21 Nov 1961; Cedula No. 6097211 (Venezuela); Major General of the Fourth Armored Division of the Venezuelan Army (individual) [SDNTK]

AMIN (a.k.a. MADRIZ MORENO, Ramon Isidro); DOB 4 Apr 1957; Cedula No. 6435192 (Venezuela); Officer, Venezuelan Intelligence Service – SEBIN (individual) [SDNTK]

BERNAL ROSALES, Freddy Alirio; DOB 16 Jun 1962; POB San Cristobal, Tachira State, Venezuela; Cedula No. 5665018 (Venezuela); Passport B0500324 (Venezuela); Congressman, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (individual) [SDNTK]

FIGUEROA SALAZAR, Amilcar Jesus (a.k.a. “TINO”); DOB 10 Jul 1954; POB El Pilar, Sucre State, Venezuela; Cedula No. 3946770 (Venezuela); Passport 31-2006 (Venezuela); Alternate President to the Latin American Parliament (individual) [SDNTK]

MADRIZ MORENO, Ramon Isidro (a.k.a. “AMIN”); DOB 4 Apr 1957; Cedula No. 6435192 (Venezuela); Officer, Venezuelan Intelligence Service – SEBIN (individual) [SDNTK]

TINO (a.k.a. FIGUEROA SALAZAR, Amilcar Jesus); DOB 10 Jul 1954; POB El Pilar, Sucre State, Venezuela; Cedula No. 3946770 (Venezuela); Passport 31-2006 (Venezuela); Alternate President to the Latin American Parliament (individual) [SDNTK]

A chart of these individuals may be found here: Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act – September 2011 – FARC.

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

9/8/2011
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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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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