South Florida

4 Colombians face drug-related charges

 

dnoriega@ElNuevoHerald.com

Four Colombian citizens were indicted Tuesday in South Florida on charges of laundering drug-trafficking money.

Three of the defendants, along with several of their associates and companies they operate, were also added Tuesday by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to its list of designated narcotics traffickers.

The accused are Henry Guberek Grimberg, 55; his father, Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz, 77; their secretary, Johanna Patricia Ceballos-Bueno, 27; and Dilleman Hernando Solórzano-Lozano, 46.

“The reach of American justice is as long as it is strong,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement. “With the help of our international law enforcement partners, we will find you and you will be brought to justice.”

Of the individuals and companies named by the U.S. attorney’s office and the Treasury Department who had publicly listed telephone numbers, all either did not answer calls or had their numbers disconnected.

Guberek Ravinovicz and Guberek Grimberg allegedly ran a money-laundering ring in Bogotá between 2010 and 2012, using seemingly legitimate businesses — mostly textile importers and exporters — as a service that transnational drug traffickers could use to conceal the origins of their illegal assets, according to the U.S. attorney’s office and the Treasury Department.

The defendants face 20-year sentences if they are convicted of the crimes. Being added to the Treasury’s list of drug traffickers means any assets owned by the Gubereks in the United States will be frozen, and Americans will be prohibited from doing business with them.

Solórzano-Lozano is the only one of the four defendants who was not also added to the Treasury’s drug-trafficking list. According to the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa, Solórzano-Lozano was implicated by that country’s drug enforcement authorities in a network of Colombians and Hondurans who used airports in Panama — with the help of corrupt officials — to transport large quantities of illegal funds.

The fourth defendant, Ceballos-Buena, worked as a secretary for the Gubereks and “manages the day-to-day operations of the network from their offices in Bogotá,” according to the Treasury’s statement.

“Be on notice: whether you are a successful businessman or a secretary, if you assist drug traffickers to launder their funds, you will face the same justice,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville in the statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Among the accused drug traffickers who allegedly used the laundering ring are Ayman Saied Joumaa and José Evaristo Linares, both of whom were indicted by the Department of Justice in the past year.

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