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How Criminal Opportunists Exploit Venezuela's Currency Controls

How Criminal Opportunists Exploit Venezuela's Currency Controls

US prosecutors say a businessman laundered up to $100 million for Colombian drug trafficking groups by financing Venezuelan companies in desperate need of dollars, in another illustration of how criminal opportunists profit from the socialist country's strict currency control system.   Read More

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Venezuela is a key transit country for drug shipments going from Colombia to the United States and Europe. The illegal drug trade has traditionally been controlled by foreign organizations, particularly Colombians, attracted by poor rule of law and corruption. However, there is evidence that beginning in the mid-2000s corrupt elements in the security forces stepped up their role in the business, forming a loose network dubbed the “Cartel de los Soles” (Cartel of the Suns).

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