WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated drug launderer Pedro Claver Mejia Salazar (Mejia Salazar) and his narcotics money laundering network based in Medellín, Colombia pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Treasury also designated Colombian national Fredy Alonso Mira Perez (alias Fredy Colas), an important underboss in the criminal organization known as La Oficina de Envigado, as well as 10 additional individuals, and 14 entities, all based in Colombia. As a result of today’s actions, all assets that are based in the United States or in control by U.S. persons in which the individuals and entities designated today have an interest in are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
Mejia Salazar, often acting under the authority and direction of Fredy Colas, primarily launders narcotics proceeds on behalf of La Oficina de Envigado, a group which Treasury designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act on June 26, 2014. As part of his global drug money laundering operations, Mejia Salazar and his network work closely with Lebanese-Colombian drug money launderer Ayman Saied Joumaa, also a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker.
“Operatives of La Oficina de Envigado have tapped into Ayman Joumaa’s international networks and successfully moved drug proceeds back to traffickers in Colombia from locations around the world, posing a major threat to U.S. interests,” said Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Adam Szubin. “Treasury will continue to aggressively expose and disrupt the activities of these illicit networks, wherever they may be operating.”
Mejia Salazar relies on a network of trusted family members to carry out his money laundering transactions, including his sons – Juan Carlos, Victor Gabriel, Andres Camilo, and Jose Alejandro Mejia Alzate – and his nephews – Jesus Rodolfo, Jose Albeiro, and Jose Guillermo Barco Mejia. Several entities designated today, which are owned by Mejia Salazar and his family, are also directly involved in these illicit transactions, including Grupo Empresarial Enkor Profesional S.A.S., a well-known beauty products company based in Medellín.
Today’s action was made possible by a lengthy investigation led by the Financial Investigations Team of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division.
“The success of this investigation was a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the DEA New England Field Division’s Financial Investigation Team and our law enforcement partners,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “The DEA New England Field Division is committed to targeting large-scale criminal organizations, using all our enforcement resources.”
Since June 2000, more than 1,600 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.