U.S. sanctions Argentina-based online pharmacy

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday designated the Argentina-based online pharmacy Goldpharma and eight Argentine citizens as significant foreign narcotics traffickers.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a news release that Goldpharma sells illicit opioids to customers located in the United States through its nine entities located in Argentina, Colombia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

All property in the United States of designated entities will be blocked, including seven companies in three states and four condominiums in Miami.

Five of the Argentines have been indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin: Conrado Adolfo Frenzel, Jorge Alejandro Paura, Luciano Brunetti, Lucas Daniel Paura, and Santiago Videmato.

Three other Argentine nationals — Sergio David Ferrari, Gaston Tomaghelli and Roberto Javier Perez Santoro — were designated for their involvement in Goldpharma’s alleged money laundering activities through a business enterprise known as the “Smile Group”.

“The Goldpharma network illustrates the sophisticated tactics drug traffickers and money launderers use to capitalize on the Internet and online pharmacy sites to sell highly addictive illicit narcotics around the world,” said Sigal Mandelker, under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Argentine authorities announced in March the dismantling of a criminal enterprise that illegally imported drugs, and credited co-operation from the United States and Romania.

The Argentine authorities arrested five people, including three who were requested by the United States. After 21 raids, they also found cash from several countries, 13 vehicles, passports, bank slips from Panama and Belize and around 100 credit cards.

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