US bans firms, people in Cali case

The United States government says it will impose sanctions on those who have assisted the financial network of the imprisoned leaders of Cali Cartel.

The US Department of the Treasury under an executive order, froze the assets of 14 individuals and 25 companies spanning across three countries — Colombia, Spain and the Netherlands — which have allegedly supported the drug-trafficking network by concealing assets of cartel leaders Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela.

The order, issued on Tuesday, bans US citizens from doing business with those designated and freezes their assets on the US territory.

The Treasury has focused on a Colombian citizen, Hernando Mejia Uribe, who was arrested by the Colombian authorities in February on charges of laundering money and acting on behalf of the family of Orejuela.

Uribe has been described as the ‘lynchpin’ of the network who supposedly led a network of Spaniards and Colombians who helped conceal financial assets.

Both Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela are serving 30-year prison terms in the US after a 2006 agreement in which they pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

Under the plea deal, their family members are required to disclose properties and assets to the US government.

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