The Colombian authorities say they have dismantled the country’s largest money-laundering network.

Illicit fund flows disguised as trades in gold fuelled the network, which investigators reckon involved the laundering of nearly US$1 billion.

Ringleader captured
Officials said police had captured chief executive officer of CI Goldex SA, John Úber Hernández Santa.

Goldex is one of Colombia’s largest gold exporters while Hernández allegedly also heads an illegal mining business in Colombia, in which other criminal elements participate.

Illegal mining
Investigators say Goldex, under false identity, bought illegally mined gold from several sellers and quickly disguised the precious metal’s identity by exporting it.

The entities that apparently sold the gold to Goldex, in reality, do not exist and were shell companies created solely for money-laundering purposes according to investigators.

They say that several of the supposed sellers were companies apparently owned or registered in the names of dead or homeless people.