HomeNewsBriefDEA Agents Posed as FARC to Net International Arms Trafficker
BRIEF

DEA Agents Posed as FARC to Net International Arms Trafficker

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 26 JUL 2017 BY MIKE LASUSA EN

A man from the Ivory Coast has pleaded guilty in a US court to offering support to undercover DEA agents posing as members of Colombia's FARC guerrilla group, raising questions about the handling of similar operations in the future in light of the FARC's ongoing demobilization.

Faouzi Jaber, a 61-year-old Ivorian citizen known by the alias "Excellence," pleaded guilty in a New York federal court on July 25 to conspiring to traffic arms and drugs in support of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) insurgency, which the United States considers a terrorist organization.

SEE ALSO: FARC News and Profile

According to a press release from the US prosecutor's office, Jaber met multiple times with confidential sources working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who were posing as members of the FARC. In those meetings, Jaber introduced the confidential sources to drug and arms traffickers, and promised to help the guerrilla group obtain weapons, smuggle drugs in Africa and launder money.

Jaber was arrested in April 2014 by local authorities in the Czech Republic acting on a US request for his capture and extradition.

InSight Crime Analysis

Jaber is not the first international arms trafficker brought down by DEA operatives pretending to be members of the FARC. Perhaps the most infamous example is the 2008 arrest in Thailand of Viktor Bout, the so-called "Merchant of Death" who was later convicted in the United States of conspiring to sell arms to DEA sources posing as FARC fighters. More recently, a Romanian-born man named Flaviu Georgescu was convicted in the United States of participating in a weapons trafficking conspiracy following a similar set-up.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Arms Trafficking

Although the tactic of posing as the FARC has helped the DEA capture a number of suspected international criminals, the agency will almost certainly have to find a new group to impersonate in these types of stings. The FARC, one of the world's oldest and most famous guerrilla groups, signed a peace deal with the Colombian government last year and recently handed over its weapons to the United Nations.

However, the fact that the FARC is now effectively defunct as a guerrilla organization does not mean that the DEA will stop using confidential sources posing as criminals to execute sting operations. In fact, this tactic -- which has been criticized as a form of entrapment -- has become a staple of the DEA's pursuit of so-called "narco-terrorism" cases in Latin America and abroad.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 22 SEP 2016

A new report describes recent shifts in the characteristics of violence in El Salvador, and it offers recommendations for how…

COLOMBIA / 27 SEP 2016

Colombia has finally signed a peace deal with the oldest insurgency in the Western Hemisphere. But with the country's criminal…

COLOMBIA / 9 JUL 2015

The US is paying Colombia to train security forces in Central America, without tracking whether this is doing good or…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.