World

US sanctions Swiss bodega owners accused of fronting for Colombian rebels

The U.S. Treasury Department is levying financial sanctions on four Colombians accused of laundering money for leftist rebels through a speciality grocer and money transfer shop in Switzerland.

The four individuals targeted Thursday as foreign narcotics kingpins ran a Zurich-based bodega called the Colombiano Latin Shop that authorities say served as a front for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the man believed to be the guerrillas' chief representative in France, Italy and Switzerland.

The store specialized in hard-to-find Latin delicacies, such as bottles of Inca Cola from Peru and Colombia's anise-flavored aguardiente liqueur. The store's website said it also offered to buy gold and perform money transfers.

The FARC were designated a major drug-trafficking organization by the U.S. government in 2003 and its top leadership has been indicted.