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Largest Banking Cooperation in Columbia Busted for Violating Anti-money Laundering Regulations

Banco de Occidente, Columbia’s largest banking cooperation Grupo Aval owned by one of the richest man Luis Carlos Sarmiento, got caught for the 12th time for not complying with money laundering regulations. 

The fined enforced on the organizations costs around $137,000 by the Finance Superintendent. La Nueva Prensa covered this news stating this has been the 12ths time that the organizations have been fined due to such violations since 2001. 

Grupo Aval’s another subsidiary, Banco de Bogota, along with Banco de Occidente is under the US Department of Justice’s Investigation. These organizations are being investigated for a $10 million money-laundering operation. 

In this money-laundering case, the group’s international bank called BAC Credomatic was also involved and the case is related to the Odebrech bribery scandal. Grupo Aval owns 5 banks and they are the largest organization to deal with pension funds and various stock broking companies in Columbia. They are known to bankroll presidential elections as well.

The bank’s involvement in these scandals have ruined the reputation of Grupo Aval and put them under the constant radar. According to the law, every bank must follow anti-money laundering regulations or they must face the consequences. Not only do they have to pay a large number of sum for penalties but they also develop a bad repute and clients tend to avoid that.