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US Treasury Freezes Assets of Colombian Drug Suspect's Parents, Associates


The United States government has frozen the assets of four people and two companies that allegedly have ties to a suspected Colombian drug kingpin.

The U.S. Treasury announced Tuesday it has taken financial sanctions against the parents of accused drug trafficker Juan Carlos Ramirez, two of his business associates and two companies he founded.

A Treasury news release says Ramirez's parents, along with Jorge Rodrigo Salinas and Edgar Marina Otalora, operated a Colombian pharmaceutical distribution company Ramirez built with his alleged narcotics proceeds.

The Treasury also accused Ramirez of using a Colombian holding company for keeping real estate and other assets while the U.S. investigated his finances.

Ramirez faces federal indictments on drug trafficking charges in the United States.

He is allegedly one of the leaders of Colombia's Norte del Valle drug cartel. Authorities say the cartel has exported about 500 metric tons of cocaine to the U.S. since 1990.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.