BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – 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 (FARC, by its Spanish acronym) 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 Kola 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, a leftist group that has engaged in armed conflict with the government of Colombia since 1964, were designated a major drug-trafficking organization by the U.S. government in 2003, and much of its top leadership has been indicted.
They are currently in peace talks with the government of the South American nation.