Colombia sentences money launderers
Seven suspects jailed for money laundering
18 October 2008
COLOMBIA - In Colombia, seven suspected accomplices of the Dutch oil engineer Henk van Bilderbeek have been jailed for terms of between 11.5 and 20 years for laundering drug money. Henk van Bilderbeek, who has now been on remand for more than four years, is accused with the seven other individuals of laundering drug money for the Centauros paramilitary group. The group is active in the east of the country.
Mr Bilderbeek is to be tried separately. He not only wants to prove his innocence, but also to show that the government in Bogotá is trying to discredit him. This was sufficient reason for the judge to try the cases separately.
Henk van Bilderbeek had a contract with the Colombian firm Ecopetrol to drill for oil. But Ecopetrol cancelled the contract on the grounds that Mr Bilderbeek had not honoured his commitments. The contract then went to a US firm with good contacts in the Colombian government. Shortly thereafter, Mr Bilderbeek was arrested and charged with money laundering.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]