WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration lifted Thursday U.S. sanctions that had been placed on a popular Colombian soccer team for alleged ties to a drug cartel
Under the Obama administration in 2015, the Treasury Department placed Envigado soccer club and owner Juan Pablo Upequi on its foreign narcotics kingpins list. The U.S. accused Upequi of using the club to launder money for the violent cocaine-trafficking group La Oficina de Envigado.
The United States said the soccer team has since severed ties to the cartel and people associated with it. The Treasury Department said the team worked with Colombian authorities to undergo a corporate restructuring.
This de-listing demonstrates that Treasury sanctions to combat drug cartels can effectively disrupt their ingrained financial investments and hinder their long-term plans to launder money through the sports industry,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Now that the sanctions have been lifted, there is no longer any prohibition on transactions or dealings by U.S. persons, or within the United States, in property or interests in property of the Envigado.
Any assets that the team may have had in the United States are now unblocked.
Another Colombian team, America de Cali, was once punished with U.S. sanctions but was removed from the list in 2013.