Former Interbolsa president denies firm’s involvement in money laundering

Interbolsa office (Photo: Octavio Gomez)

The former head of Colombia’s Interbolsa — until recently Colombia’s largest brokerage firm — on Thursday denied accusations against the Colombian brokerage’s alleged involvement in money laundering.

A wave of accusations steered by House of Representatives leader Simon Gaviria trailed Interbolsa’s fall during November of 2012, when liquidity seized up and the firm failed to make payment on an outstanding loan.

“I may have differences with Interbolsa’s policies,” said Juan Carlos Ortiz. “But I’m convinced that there was no money laundering, and that is what I think.”

U.S. officials recently opened investigations into whether or not InterBolsa and other brokers were part of a scheme to launder monies between the US and Colombia. The scheme is believed to be part of a drug-trafficking circuit. The investigation has not arrived at any conclusions.

MORE: Colombian stockbrokers fall under investigation for money laundering in the US

InterBolsa’s former director stepped down from then Colombia’s largest brokerage in 2006. Ortiz reported that he many differences with Rodrigo Jaramillo, the man who succeeded Ortiz’s leadership at Interbolsa, and said that finally “… I removed myself from everything.” Ortiz went on to add that he feels himself to be a ‘victim’ of the brokerage and its behavior.

Juan Carlos Ortiz is one of the founders of Premium Capital, a fund located in Curacao. He directed Interbolsa from 1997 and 2006.

Gaviria has recently declared that the scandals facing Colombia today “could have only been composed by experts on financial matters,” and though the leader of the House of Colombia’s Representatives frames Interbolsa in the center of it all, there are other actors too.

“History repeats itself of the living, the evil and the foolish,” said Gaviria. “The living are Proyectar Valores and Interbolsa… The evil are the public officials and contractors who approved the infrastructure budgets, and the fool is the State, who at the end of the day is the loser…”


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