A Colombian cocaine confiscation, sanctions against an alleged Honduran narco-trafficking group and prison for an international drug dealer marked major victories in regional counter-narcotics efforts this week. Colombian police confiscated 1.3 tons of cocaine belonging to the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel, National Police Counter-narcotics Division head Gen. Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño said Wednesday. Authorities discovered the narcotics aboard a ship departing from the Pacific port of Buenaventura and destined for the Guatemalan port of Quetzal, Restrepo Londoño said. Restrepo Londoño added the Sinaloa cartel has established a presence in Colombia so it can buy cocaine straight from producers and eliminate middlemen, generating a higher profit. “We are facing criminal organizations coming from Mexico,” he added. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has launched a probe into the possible presence of Mexican narco-traffickers in the department of Nariño, where the majority of coca – the main ingredient used to produce cocaine – is cultivated. The cocaine was inside a shipment of ceramic glue in a container among the ship’s cargo. No arrests were made. The bust brings the total of cocaine seized by Colombian police so far this year to 68.3 tons. Sanctions for Los Valles Meanwhile, Los Valles – considered “one of the most prolific” trafficking groups in Central America by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – was dealt a serious blow with major sanctions announced by the office Aug. 20. The group’s leader Miguel Arnulfo Valle, his brothers Luis Alonso and José Reynerio, and four businesses suspected of aiding them in their illicit activities have all been sanctioned. “[The United States Treasury Department] stands with the Honduran authorities to combat the drug trafficking threat,” OFAC Director Adam Szubin said in a prepared statement. The sanctions, established under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, freeze all assets held in the U.S. by Miguel, Luis, José and all of the companies, making it illegal for any U.S. entity or citizen to conduct financial or commercial transactions with them. Los Valles are suspected of smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms into the U.S. monthly through a comprehensive network that includes three coffee production companies and a cattle and milk production business. More than 1,600 individuals and entities worldwide have been designated under the Act since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to US$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 US$5 million, while fines for corporations may reach US$10 million. Individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines. Decades in prison for Cournoyer That same day, the head of a US$1 billion international narco-trafficking organization arrested as he tried to enter Mexico was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Jimmy Cournoyer, who was sentenced in a U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, ran an enterprise that was aligned with organized crime groups and drug cartels, according to prosecutors. Cournoyer had a violent side to go along with his flashy lifestyle, as he used a portion of his money to order punishment on those who cooperated with law enforcement officials. Cournoyer, a 34-year-old native of Quebec, pleaded guilty in May 2013 to charges including money laundering and conspiracies to manufacture and distribute marijuana and cocaine. He was arrested in 2012 as he tried to enter Mexico. He was extradited to New York, where he sold marijuana grown in Canada. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch had asked for a 30-year sentence for Cournoyer, who authorities said trafficked 109,000 kilograms of marijuana into the U.S. SOURCES http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2014/08/20/us-treasury-targets-honduran-drug-network-with-sanctions/ http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20140820.aspx http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2014/08/21/gazette-midday-coderre-gets-soaked-reign-ends-for-king-of-pot/ http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/drug-kingpin-jimmy-cournoyer-sentenced-to-27-years-1.1968335 http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/20/pot-playboy-jimmy-cournoyer-gets-27-years-in-jail-for-smuggling-109000-kilos-of-marijuana-into-u-s/ http://www.komonews.com/news/national/Marijuana-supplier-dubbed-Pot-Playboy-gets-27-years-272097841.html http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2349021&CategoryId=12393 By Dialogo August 22, 2014
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer are the three players shortlisted for the world footballer of the year award.Former Manchester United forward Ronaldo was the 2013 winner of the Ballon d’Or.His victory ended Messi’s three year run as winner.This year has seen Neuer win the German league and cup with Bayern Munich, and the World Cup with Germany. The 25 year old was nominated for the incredible volley she scored for Peamount United in the Women’s National League last October.Roche is battling James Rodriguez of Colombia and the Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie for their World cup goals against Uruguay and Spain respectively.She will join them in Zurich for the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony on 12th January, when the winner will be announced.