Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Carlos Arnoldo Lobo (a.k.a. “El Negro Lobo”) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), for his significant role in international narcotics trafficking.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which Lobo has an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.
Lobo works with Colombian suppliers to transport multi-ton loads of cocaine north for Mexican, Guatemalan, and Honduran drug kingpins and organizations, including the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, other Sinaloa Cartel members, and the Honduran drug trafficking organization Los Cachiros. Furthermore, Lobo launders illicit proceeds from the sale of narcotics into a variety of assets, including real properties, maritime vessels, and seafood shipping businesses.
“Today’s action targets Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, a maritime drug trafficker who uses his shipping and fishing businesses as a cover for smuggling narcotics which eventually make their way into the U.S.,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “OFAC and Honduran authorities will continue to work closely together to deprive drug traffickers like Lobo of the wealth they amass from illicit drugs and the legitimacy they seek through commercial window dressing.”
OFAC has been collaborating with U.S. and Honduran counterparts to target Lobo and his assets since 2011. In October 2011, the Honduran Public Ministry’s Special Prosecutor for Asset Forfeiture seized an estimated 500 million Honduran lempiras – equivalent to approximately $26 million in the U.S. – of property and assets registered in the name of Lobo and individuals acting on his behalf. In May 2012, the Government of Honduras also seized a business complex from Lobo valued at 20 million Honduran lempiras – equivalent to approximately $1 million in the U.S. – as well as other property and assets. In March 2014, the Honduran National Police, along with the Honduran Public Ministry and Directorate for the Fight Against Drug Trafficking, took Lobo into custody. Lobo has been indicted on U.S. drug trafficking charges in the Southern District of Florida.
Today’s action occurred with the support and cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security–Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of State, and the Government of Honduras.
Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,300 businesses and individuals linked to 103 drug kingpins since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.