HomeNewsBriefColombia Congressman Accuses Brokerage Firm of Ties to Criminal Groups
BRIEF

Colombia Congressman Accuses Brokerage Firm of Ties to Criminal Groups

COLOMBIA / 9 MAY 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The president of Colombia's Liberal Party has accused disgraced brokerage firm Interbolsa of laundering money for drug traffickers, guerrillas, and corrupt politicians, as the financial scandal continues to unravel.

Speaking at a congressional debate about Interbolsa, Congressman Simon Gaviria said he had proof that the firm laundered bribes paid by contactors to the Bogota's mayor's office in the notorious scandal that brought down Bogota's former mayor, Samuel Moreno.

Gaviria added he believed Interbolsa was also involved in laundering criminal proceeds from drug trafficking groups such as the Oficina de Envigado in Colombia and the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, as well as guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), reported El Colombiano.

Gaviria said he would provide evidence to back his claims to prosecutors, who are set to charge eight people involved in the case next week.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Interbolsa scandal began when the firm -- once the largest in Colombia -- was liquidated under mysterious circumstances in November 2012. Since then, the allegations of money laundering and criminal behavior have continued to build. Should Gaviria's allegations prove true, the Interbolsa case could arguably be labeled one of the biggest scandals in the history of Colombian finance.

There is also evidence to support accusations that the firm may have had links with organized crime groups. A suspect in the Interbolsa case, Carlos Leyton Sinisterra, stands accused of laundering money for criminal groups in Mexico and Puerto Rico, and has aslo been linked to the organization of captured Colombian drug trade kingpin Daniel "El Loco" Barrera. Leyton was arrested shortly after Interbolsa's collapse last year.

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