U.S. blocks suspected kingpins' assets
WASHINGTON - (AP) -- The Bush administration, trying to topple
drug kingpins, moved Friday to block the financial assets of two leaders
of the violent
North Valle drug cartel in Colombia that has smuggled tons of cocaine into the United States.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control added
Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez and Luis Hernando Gómez Bustamante to
government's list of specially designated narcotics traffickers.
The action means that any assets belonging to the two men found
in the United States or in its jurisdiction will be frozen and Americans
from doing business with them.
Treasury officials hoped this decision would further expose, isolate and incapacitate Colombian drug cartels and their agents.
The drug kingpins named Friday ''smuggle . . tons quantities of cocaine into the United States,'' officials said.
In addition, Treasury added 21 people and 13 businesses in Colombia it believes are acting as fronts for leaders of the cartel.
Treasury officials said it would take some time to determine
if any of the individuals and businesses added to the list Friday had assets
in the United
A 1995 executive order gives the Treasury Department the authority
to try to financially paralyze suspected drug cartels and kingpins targeted
With the addition of Friday's names, the U.S. government has
ordered the assets belonging to 613 individuals and businesses blocked,
That list includes 12 kingpins from Colombia's drug cartels,
including Cali cartel leaders, officials said.