Kingpin Act Designation Targets Ruano Yandun Drug Trafficking Organization
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Colombian national Tito Aldemar Ruano Yandun (Ruano Yandun) and the Ruano Yandun Drug Trafficking Organization as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking. OFAC also designated Colombian national Onofre Junior Aguiño Arboleda for acting for or on behalf of Ruano Yandun. As a result of today’s action, all assets of those designated that are under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“Treasury is targeting drug kingpin Ruano Yandun and his criminal organization, as they continue to smuggle and distribute tons of cocaine from Colombia through Central America and into our communities,” said OFAC Director John E. Smith. “We are freezing assets and cutting them off from the financial system to send a strong message to Ruano Yandun and other criminals who export poison and violence across our borders that we intend to target and dismantle these illicit networks.”
Ruano Yandun is the leader of an international drug trafficking organization responsible for the production, transportation, and trafficking of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia and Ecuador through Central America and Mexico using speedboats, fishing vessels, and self-propelled semi-submersible vessels, ultimately bound for the United States. The Ruano Yandun organization is a key contributor to the increased cocaine production in the Nariño department of Colombia in recent years. Onofre Junior Aguiño Arboleda, a.k.a. “Dios y Ciego”, was designated for his role supporting and coordinating maritime drug trafficking activities in Colombia and Ecuador for Ruano Yandun.
On January 20, 2017, a grand jury in the Eastern District of New York indicted Ruano Yandun and Aguiño Arboleda on U.S. federal charges of international cocaine distribution conspiracy.
Today’s OFAC designation was conducted in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“DEA Miami is very pleased with the designation of Tito Aldemar Ruano Yandun, his Drug Trafficking Organization, and Onofre Junior Aguiño Arboleda as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, as well as the freezing of their assets. Actions like this allow us to further disable and dismantle their organizations which seek to flood our country with illicit drugs," said DEA Miami Special Agent in Charge Adolphus P. Wright. “Together with the Department of Treasury and our other law enforcement partners, we remain dedicated and committed to targeting, investigating, and prosecuting all those who commit drug trafficking crimes against the United States.”
Since June 2000, more than 2,000 entities and individuals have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,437,153 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
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