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    Gold Company Manager Charged in Vast Peruvian Smuggling Plot

    Gold Company Manager Charged in Vast Peruvian Smuggling Plot
    by Michael Smith and David Voreacos
    March 15, 2017, 11:01 PM CDT March 16, 2017, 8:41 AM CDT


    – U.S. says narco-terrorists part of multibillion-dollar plot
    – Charges signal U.S. crackdown on illegal gold from Amazon

    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.

    On March 9, Bloomberg Businessweek detailed how smugglers, refiners and traders supply gold moving from illegal mines in Latin America, through Miami, and into the international market. The report focused on one Chilean smuggler who sold thousands of pounds of illegally mined or contraband gold, mainly to NTR’s Miami office, before his arrest last year in Santiago.


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