U.S. Unblocks Gold Mining Firm Comarsa’s Bank Account

The United States government has unblocked the U.S. bank account of a family-owned gold mining company in Peru that had alleged links to drug trafficking, RPP radio reported.

Alfredo Sanchez Miranda, a member of Peru’s Sanchez Paredes family, investigated over many years for drug-related allegations, said that the family was able to prove that mining company Comarsa is legitimate, and not set up to support a drug business.  He said that Comarsa will be able to continue with gold production and exports.

“This is a vindication for our company,” Sanchez Miranda said. He blamed the seizure of the company’s funds in October on “irresponsible civil servants who are now trying to justify what they did.”

In October, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said seizure warrants were issued in September 2012 for the U.S. bank accounts that were used by members of the Sanchez Paredes family to launder proceeds from cocaine trafficking.

Authorities believe the family has used mining companies, farms, real estate investments, transportation firms and others to launder profits from drug production and trafficking. The Peruvian Attorney General’s office pointed to two mining companies owned by the family, Compañía Minera Aurifera Santa Rosa SA, known as Comarsa, and Compañía Minera San Simon, which are suspected of being used as fronts in manufacturing cocaine.

The Sanchez Paredes family is led by the patriarch Manuel Sanchez Paredes, uncle to Alfredo Sanchez Miranda, and has been investigated for money laundering and drug trafficking for more than two decades. In 1987, a brother to Manuel was murdered in Mexico allegedly in a drug-related power struggle.

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