Colombia’s watchdog fines Banco de Occidente for evasion of AML regulations

Colombia’s banking watchdog has fined Banco de Occidente for the12th time for evading AML regulations, according to local media.

The Superintendent for Finance’s imposed the $137,000 fine on the Banco de Occidente, one of the banks of Luis Carlos Sarmiento‘s banking conglomerate Grupo Aval. Sarmiento is the contries richest man.

According to La Nueva Prensa, the fine is the 12th that’s been imposed on the bank since 2001.

Another Grupo Aval subsidiary, Banco de Bogota, alongside Banco de Occidente is reportedly being investigated by the US Department of Justice and the SEC over a $10 million money laundering operation.

This laundering operation was allegedly carried out by the group’s international bank, BAC Credomatic, and would is related to the Odebrecht bribery scandal that implicates Sarmiento’s son and a further Grupo Aval subsidiary, Corficolombiana.

Grupo Aval owns five banks in colombia, as well as the country’s largest pension fund and multiple stock broking companies.

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