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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 15, 1997


Treasury Prohibits Business Dealings with and Freezes Assets of 78 Companies and Individuals Fronting for the Cali Drug Cartel

The Treasury Department today added to its list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) the names of 78 businesses and individuals that it has determined are acting as fronts for the Cali cartel -- the largest drug ring in the world and responsible for more than 80 percent of the cocaine that enters the United States. By prohibiting Americans from doing business with SDNTs and freezing their assets found within U.S. jurisdiction, the Treasury action will have a chilling effect on cartel activity by further exposing, isolating, and incapacitating its agents.

President Clinton praised today's action, which was taken pursuant to an Executive Order the President signed on October 21, 1995, and announced to the 50th United Nations General Assembly the next day. "The Treasury Department's hard work and vigilance in identifying the Cali cartel's front companies and agents is helping cut the economic lifeline of one of the most notorious drug rings in the world."

Twenty-one businesses and 57 individuals are affected by today's action -- bringing to a total of 359 the number of businesses and individuals whose assets have been blocked since 1995 under authority of the President's Executive Order.

All 78 of the newly designated SDNTs have been determined to be directly or indirectly involved with Colombian narcotics traffickers, and to be owned or controlled by or to act for or on behalf of the Cali Cartel's "Pacho" Herrera Buitrago organization.

Today's action by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) was taken in coordination with the Justice and State Departments. The list of businesses and individuals named by Treasury as SDNTs will be published in the Federal Register this week and is currently available electronically from OFAC.

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