A new report from watchdog group Global Witness says that a Colombian money launderer currently in U.S. custody participated in the advance sale of units in a Panama development bearing the president’s name: The Trump Ocean Club. Trump has made $13.9 million from the Ocean Club in the last three years alone, according to NBC’s own reporting on the matter.
From the Global Witness report:
Trump may not have deliberately set out to facilitate criminal activity in his business dealings. But, as this Global Witness investigation shows, licensing his brand to the luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama aligned Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks looking to launder ill-gotten gains. Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.
David Murcia Guzmán is the Colombian fraudster who just completed a nine-year sentence in the US for money laundering that defrauded more than 200,000 people of $2 billion, according to the report. A Brazilian real estate salesman named Alexandre Ventura Noriega confirmed to Global Witness and NBC that Guzman participated in the pre-sale of Ocean Club units, purchasing as many as 10 of them in the period when the developers were trying to raise money to complete the project.
Global Witness cites Colombian authorities in connecting Guzman not only to drug trafficking through his enterprise DMG, but to the Colombian revolutionary group FARC, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US.
Colombian media coverage describes a police raid netting evidence that a member of rebel group Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria [de Colombia] (FARC) invested in DMG. Press reports also allege that Murcia Guzmán moved money for the paramilitary organization Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). At the time, both FARC and AUC were designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations.
This post has been updated.