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SAR Filings Assist International Money Laundering Case
Between November 2000 and January 2001, SARs were filed by two (2) banks indicating accounts controlled by Victor Alberto Venero-Garrido had received large and suspicious deposits totaling over $22 million. Following the filing of the SARs, a money laundering investigation was initiated. The investigation determined that Venero was a known associate for indicted former Chief of the Peruvian Intelligence Service, Vladimiro Montesinos. At the time, Montesinos, top advisor to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, was wanted by Peru for fleeing with government funds, narcotics trafficking, and for human rights violations that included overseeing death squads. Venero, a former Peruvian general, was also wanted by Peruvian authorities for these same crimes.
On January 26, 2001, Venero was arrested on a Provisional Arrest Warrant requested by the Peruvian Government after he liquidated an account for the amount of $3.7 million. According to the Peruvian indictments, Montesinos and Venero had committed numerous crimes that netted them illicit proceeds of almost $1 billion over the past seven (7) to eight (8) years. On June 24, 2001, Vladimiro Montesinos was arrested by the Venezuelan military in Caracas.
To date, more than $24 million has been frozen in accounts belonging to subjects of this investigation. More than $50 million has been recovered by Peruvian authorities. Investigations are continuing in the United States. Trials are pending in Peru. President Alberto Fujimori has resigned as President of Peru and is in self-imposed exile in Japan.
[Published in The SAR Activity Review – Trends, Tips & Issues, Issue 4, August 2002]