WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control today removed the Colombian professional soccer team, Envigado Futbol Club S.A. (also known as Envigado F.C.), from the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). Treasury designated Envigado F.C. on November 19, 2014, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, because it was owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, La Oficina de Envigado and Juan Pablo Upegui Gallego. Envigado F.C. recently completed a sale and restructuring of team management under the oversight of the Colombian government that eliminated ties to a Colombian crime group involved in international narcotics trafficking and other criminal activities and cut them off from any benefit from the sale.
“OFAC lifted sanctions on Envigado Futbol Club after the Colombian government and the soccer team undertook extensive efforts that severed the club’s former ties with the criminal influence of La Oficina de Envigado,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “This de-listing demonstrates that Treasury sanctions to combat drug cartels can effectively disrupt their ingrained financial investments and hinder their long-term plans to launder money through the sports industry. By working with the Colombian government´s Superintendency of Companies regulatory agency over three years, Envigado F.C. carried out a corporate restructuring and severed all ownership ties to designated individuals and entities that were tied to Colombian crime group La Oficina de Envigado.”
Now that the team is removed from the SDN List and no longer under the onus of La Oficina de Envigado, there is no longer any prohibition on transactions or dealings by U.S. persons, or within the United States, in property or interests in property of the Envigado F.C. U.S. persons are permitted to enter into financial transactions with the team and any assets that the team may have had in the United States are now unblocked.