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Aug 31, 2017

U.S. Says Removal from ‘Kingpin’ List Does Not Clear John Zabaneh of Criminal Investigation

John Zabaneh

You heard here on News Five how well known businessman John Zabaneh has been cleared of the ‘Kingpin’ label. Zabaneh and alleged associates were designated as a trafficking organization and operatives of the Sinaloa Cartel in Belize. But for five years Zabaneh challenged the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control and just weeks ago he was successful in clearing his name. Today we asked the Charge d’ Affaires for a comment on Zabaneh’s de-listing. Here’s what Charge d’ Affaires Adrienne Galanek said.


Adrienne Galanek

Adrienne Galanek, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Belize

“He was designated by the Department of Treasury based on his activities and affiliations. And the OFAC designation list is an ongoing list of process of review and so individuals on that list provide information that indicate the extent of their current activities. So, Treasury made that designation that his activities no longer align with the listing and so therefore he was, they made the decision to do the de-listing. But de-listing don’t necessary have an effect on any possible criminal activity that an individual may have participated in.”


Andrea Polanco

“Does this mean all investigation into his activities are completed?”


Adrienne Galanek

“That is a question I would have to refer to you to the Department of Treasury.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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