Police Op Targets Shining Path Finances

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Peruvian authorities have praised the outcome of a police operation carried out in late April, which saw the seizure of tens of millions of dollars worth of cash and property reportedly linked to guerrilla organization the Shining Path.

Police announced the arrest of three businessmen on April 24, accused of laundering cash for a faction of the Shining Path. The wife of one of the detainees is also believed to have been involved in the scheme, although she remains at large. Authorities said the four suspects have a total of 571 properties and 160 boats registered in their name, the purchase of which may have been a cover for disguising drug money.

According to Andina news agency, the operation has also resulted in the seizure of $24 million from various bank accounts and the seizure of properties with an estimated value of $57 million. 

The law enforcement initiative reportedly took six months to plan and involved the participation of anti-drug and counter-terrorism police. 

InSight Crime Analysis

This is part of a concentrated effort by Peruvian authorities to undermine the Shining Path by targeting their financial structure, although overall the government has favored a militarized approach against the guerrilla group. The Shining Path faction which remains active in an area of the country known as the VRAEM — the Apurimac and Ene River Valley, plus the Mantaro Valley — is deeply involved in the drug trade, and thus it comes as little surprise that they should be dependent on a wide network of collaborators to launder dirty cash on their behalf. 

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