Illegal Iranian Mining in Colombia

February 12, 2019 Crime , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER , South America

Reuters photo



Ricardo Swire



National Police of Colombia officers conducting enforcement operation “Dragon 2” detained two Iranian men, both with US citizenship. Also captured was a Cundinamarca police patrol. Cundinamarca is a district in the centre of Colombia. The suspects orchestrated a US$50 billion illegal gold and platinum export business from Colombia to America and Canada. The precious minerals were extracted from Quito and San Juan River basins in the Department of Chocó, Colombia.


“Brazilian Dragons” or large River Boats were used to transport the products. A front company called “C.I Tala Legal Trading” based in Medellin generated related revenue that was deposited on bank accounts in America and Libya. Another front company “Dragados San Miguel S.A.S,” headquartered in the municipality of Medio San Juan, managed the Iranian network’s local labour force. Several affluent residents served as Dragados San Miguel S.A.S senior executives.


The Iranian duo partnered with “Moses” a Venezuelan businessman to execute the multimillion dollar precious metals scheme. A front company registered as “Vencol” authenticated the gold and platinum shipments. Moses managed the company’s nine staffers who combined mineral shipments sourced from Bolivia and Colombia. Vencoi’s executives paid the Urabenos Cartel aka Clan del Golfo for operating permission and protection.


Matched up to Colombia’s cocaine trafficking, illegal gold mining is more attractive. In 2017 Chocó alone registered thirty-nine percent of Colombia’s black market mining. By comparing the product value ratio, one illegal kilo of Colombian cocaine costs US$40,000, after landing in American or European markets. One kilo of gold values US$42,000 in Colombia.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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