Authorities in Colombia claim to have dismantled the largest money-laundering network in the country. On Tuesday, January 20, the Attorney General’s Office announced police captured John Úber Hernández Santa, chief executive officer of CI Goldex SA, one of the largest exporters of gold in the country. Authorities say he laundered more than COL$2.3 trillion (almost US$1 billion), using gold exports to disguise illegal funds.
Police apprehended Hernández, also known as the “Czar of Gold,” and his wife, Gloria Patricia Álvarez, as they traveled in a public bus in Montenegro, in the Colombian department of Quindío…
According to Perdomo, Goldex purchased illegally mined gold from various sellers using false identities, then concealed the origin of the gold by exporting it abroad.
“The people who allegedly sold the gold to the trading company which then sold it to Goldex … do not exist. These companies that bought the gold to sell it to Goldex were newly formed, belonged to the same partners, and were established with little capital, but had transactions with large amounts,” said Perdomo.
According to the Finance Ministry, about 90 percent of the people registered as gold sellers to Goldex had no connection to mining. The investigation uncovered that many of the 6,000 alleged providers of gold to Hernández’s company existed in name only, or were registered in the names of people who were dead or homeless.