Former government aides profiting from Cali Cartel business

A pharmaceutical business of former Cali Cartel bosses is now in the hands of friends and aides of former and present government officials, Colombian news sources have revealed.

The pharmaceutical business of former Cali Cartel bosses, brothers Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, was liquidated by the U.S. government after the cartel was shut down and the brothers imprisoned in the U.S in 2004.

However recent revelations indicate that the business is in fact continuing as normal, and turning over large profits. Sources reveal that the company — which was set up as a money laundering front for the Cali Cartel — continues a lucrative business producing pharmaceutical products, and has even kept the same staff.

It has avoided persecution from the U.S. government by relinquishing the rights of the old cooperative, and by changing its name to Cophacol.

Among the new trustees and beneficiaries of the business are Hugo Marino Leon, a friend of Carlos Albornoz, the former director of Colombia’s now defunct National Directorate of Narcotics (DNE), which was in charge of handling assets seized from drug lords.

Another trustee has been named as Angela Pantoja, a former assistant to Conservative Senator Miryam Paredes. Pantoja continues to work as an aide to the conservative party while acting as trustee for Cophacol.

Media sources point out that while the above are trustees in a company that manages more than $6 million in assets, there is no available record of individual earnings.

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