Dope dealers suspected in massive Miami based money laundering scheme

Miami Herald:
In a zeal to hide cocaine profits, South American traffickers have funneled billions of dollars of illegally mined Amazon gold to a Miami metals refinery in what federal authorities say amounts to a massive money-laundering scheme.

The man suspected of being in the middle of it all — NTR Metals director of operations Juan P. Granda — was arrested by federal agents this week at his mother’s Miami home after he flew back from Colombia and got fired from his job.

Granda is accused of conspiring with two other NTR employees to buy gold from illegal mines in the Amazon rain forest, refine the precious metal, sell it and then wire the proceeds back to drug traffickers, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court Thursday. Narco-traffickers use the clandestine operation to convert their cocaine profits into cash.

U.S. Customs records show that NTR imported $3.6 billion worth of illegal gold through a “shifting array of Latin American countries” under the “responsibility” of Granda and two Miami-based NTR sales people between 2012 and 2015, according to the complaint by Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI.

“For all of the billions of dollars’ worth shipped from Latin America to NTR in Miami, NTR sent billions of dollars in wire payments to Latin America from the United States,” said the complaint, filed by prosecutor Francisco Maderal.

Maderal plans to ask a magistrate judge on Monday to detain Granda before trial because he considers him a flight risk. Granda, a 35-year-old U.S. citizen born in Ecuador, graduated from Florida State University.
Hopefully, this prosecution will be a blow to the dope dealers in South America.  With the drug problem in the US reaching epidemic portions we need to take the profit out of the trade.


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