Colombian authorities said Wednesday they had closed 12 businesses accused of laundering a total of $72 million a year in drug trafficking revenue for paramilitary organization AGC.
The counter-narcotics operation was the largest ever carried out against drug trafficking organizations in Colombia, according to Francisco Espinosa, the director of the prosecution’s financial crime unit.
Twenty people were arrested during the operations carried out by police and prosecution officials.
Without giving details, the financial crime official told journalists that the businesses that were shut down were part of a much larger money laundering network that extended to countries in Central America.
The Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), or “Clan del Golfo” as the authorities call the group, is Colombia’s largest illegal armed group and drug trafficking organization.
The group is the main heir of drug trafficking operations once controlled by the now-defunct paramilitary umbrella organization AUC and has been growing its territorial control in Colombia for a decade.