Source: Silver Doctors
Federal Agents have arrested NTR Metals Manager Juan Granda, the self-proclaimed “Modern-Day Pablo Escobar” of Gold over charges the US Gold & Silver Firm smuggled $BILLIONS of illegally mined gold into the US:
Last week we discussed counter-party risk in the gold market in the wake of Bloomberg’s shocking expose of international gold smuggling.
As Bloomberg reports, NTR Metals Company Manager Juan Granda has now been arrested and charged:
The operations manager at a metals-refining company was charged with helping run a gold smuggling network that reaped billions of dollars for illegal mines controlled by drug dealers and other criminals in South America.
A criminal complaint against Juan P. Granda outlines a vast conspiracy involving employees at NTR Metals to buy huge amounts of gold from illegal mines in Peru that support human trafficking, forced labor and environmental devastation. The scheme allowed the NTR Metals office in Miami to launder billions of dollars for criminal organizations — including Peruvian narco-terrorists — by buying gold from mines they control, according to the U.S. complaint filed in Miami.
The charges signal a U.S. crackdown on smugglers exploiting a spike in worldwide consumption of gold mined illegally in the Amazon basin, where laborers use fire hoses and mercury to extract the nearly pure precious metal….Trey Gum, general counsel for Elemetal, declined to comment.
Officials believe NTR smuggled nearly $4 Billion in illegally mined gold beginning in 2012:
U.S. customs records “strongly suggest” that NTR began buying illegal gold in Peru in 2012, according to the complaint by Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI. NTR then began “smuggling illegal gold through a shifting array of Latin American countries,” eventually importing $3.6 billion worth from 2012 to 2015, according to the complaint.
“For all of the billions of dollars’ worth shipped from Latin America to NTR in Miami, NTR sent billions of dollars in wire payments to Latin America from the United States,” HSI agent Colberd Almeida wrote in an affidavit filed March 10 under seal in federal court in Miami.
Industry rumors for months had circulated that NTR had a massive gold shipment seized by authorities:
In 2013, Peru seized $18 million worth of gold bound for refineries in Miami and elsewhere, including NTR. One company sending gold to NTR was financed by a Peruvian acquitted of narcotics money laundering but arrested for his role in a $500 million gold scheme, according to the U.S. He is identified in the criminal complaint only as P.F. After the Peruvian raid, smuggled gold was moved to Bolivia before heading to NTR in Miami, according to Almeida. Last year, Ecuador made arrests in a $400 million money laundering scheme involving gold mined in Peru and bound for NTR, the agent wrote. Chile also made arrests stemming from investigations into gold from Peru and Argentina that was sold to NTR, Almeida wrote.
The NTR Manager reportedly referred to himself as a “modern-day Pablo Escobar”: