The FARC controls 15 gold mines in the northern Colombia department of Bolivar and are estimated to receive COP1.6 billion ($850,000) per year from this business, newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday.
An intelligence officer who spent nearly a year in the south of Bolivar to investigate the issue, explained that “they extract 24 carat gold and every ounce on the international market can cost $1,240.”
The rebels use front men, who lend their names to the businesses to make them appear legal.
The actual owner of the mines is “Pastor Alape,” who replaced the slain “Mono Jojoy” in the Secretariat.
Besides the 15 gold mines, the FARC allegedly manages more than 48,000 hectares of land.