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Operation Polar Cap

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April 18, 1990 | RONALD J. OSTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Justice Department moved Tuesday to obtain records from 173 banks on hundreds of accounts in which Colombian drug kingpins allegedly deposited nearly $400 million from selling cocaine in the United States. Department attorneys, seeking clues to complex money-laundering operations of the Medellin cartel, obtained federal court orders requiring the banks and other financial institutions to turn over information from 754 suspect accounts.
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NEWS
November 26, 1991 | HENRY WEINSTEIN and RONALD J. OSTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Federal authorities said Monday they have cracked an international money-laundering ring that moved $500 million in Colombian cocaine cartel money through banks in five U.S. cities, including Los Angeles. More than 35 people were arrested and 30 offices and homes searched in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Miami and Providence, R.I., according to Commissioner of Customs Carol Hallett. In all, charges were lodged against 50 people by federal grand juries in the five cities.
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NEWS
March 30, 1989 | RONALD J. OSTROW, Times Staff Writer
Federal agents Wednesday completed the shutdown of a major U.S. money-laundering operation for Colombia's Medellin cocaine cartel, charging 29 more defendants with drug and currency violations and seizing tens of millions of dollars in bank accounts. Wrapping up Operation Polar Cap, a federal grand jury in Atlanta unsealed indictments of a Colombian bank and its Panamanian subsidiary on charges of conspiring on the shipment of more than $1 billion in U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1990 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal court jury Tuesday acquitted two men of conspiracy and money-laundering charges in a case involving "Operation Polar Cap," a lengthy investigation centered in the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district. After a seven-month trial and eight days of deliberations, the jurors found Peniamin Mahseredjian , 37, of La Crescenta not guilty on all 27 counts lodged against him in a 1989 indictment. The panel also acquitted Krikor Chahinian , 43, of Tujunga of all 24 counts against him.
NEWS
November 26, 1991 | HENRY WEINSTEIN and RONALD J. OSTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Federal authorities said Monday they have cracked an international money-laundering ring that moved $500 million in Colombian cocaine cartel money through banks in five U.S. cities, including Los Angeles. More than 35 people were arrested and 30 offices and homes searched in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Miami and Providence, R.I., according to Commissioner of Customs Carol Hallett. In all, charges were lodged against 50 people by federal grand juries in the five cities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A record-setting trial of more than seven months, in which nine defendants are accused of conspiring to launder about $350 million in drug money through a business in Los Angeles' downtown jewelry district, appeared nearly ready to go to the jury Wednesday. The case, which grew out of a lengthy federal investigation code-named "Operation Polar Cap," has set the record for the longest criminal trial in Los Angeles' federal courthouse, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1990 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal court jury Tuesday acquitted two men of conspiracy and money-laundering charges in a case involving "Operation Polar Cap," a lengthy investigation centered in the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district. After a seven-month trial and eight days of deliberations, the jurors found Peniamin Mahseredjian , 37, of La Crescenta not guilty on all 27 counts lodged against him in a 1989 indictment. The panel also acquitted Krikor Chahinian , 43, of Tujunga of all 24 counts against him.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 1991
The owner of a downtown Los Angeles gold exchange pleaded guilty to federal money-laundering charges on the day he was scheduled to go to trial, prosecutors said. George Atik, 53, of Pico Rivera, pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping launder drug profits through his precious metals business, Universal Gold Exchange. Prosecutors said Universal was one of a dozen Los Angeles jewelry and gold exchanges involved in an international operation that laundered more than $1 billion from 1985 through 1989.
NEWS
February 26, 1989
Four San Jose men have been arrested as part of "Operation Polar Cap," a continuing federal probe into a $1-billion cocaine money-laundering network. Johnny Elias Chawi, 34; Emil Youssel Chawi, 45; Sadir Mouaflack Ajmeh, 32, and Leon Elovits, 38, were taken into custody after allegedly making cash deposits of less than $10,000 to banks to evade banking laws that require notifying the Internal Revenue Service if more than $10,000 is deposited, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 1990
A federal court jury on Monday acquitted two sisters of conspiracy and money-laundering charges in a case involving "Operation Polar Cap," a massive drug and currency investigation focused in the jewelry district in downtown Los Angeles. The jurors found Joyce Momjdian, 25, and Zepur Moroyan, 22, both of La Crescenta, not guilty of 26 charges against them in a 1989 indictment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A record-setting trial of more than seven months, in which nine defendants are accused of conspiring to launder about $350 million in drug money through a business in Los Angeles' downtown jewelry district, appeared nearly ready to go to the jury Wednesday. The case, which grew out of a lengthy federal investigation code-named "Operation Polar Cap," has set the record for the longest criminal trial in Los Angeles' federal courthouse, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney.
NEWS
April 18, 1990 | RONALD J. OSTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Justice Department moved Tuesday to obtain records from 173 banks on hundreds of accounts in which Colombian drug kingpins allegedly deposited nearly $400 million from selling cocaine in the United States. Department attorneys, seeking clues to complex money-laundering operations of the Medellin cartel, obtained federal court orders requiring the banks and other financial institutions to turn over information from 754 suspect accounts.
NEWS
March 30, 1989 | RONALD J. OSTROW, Times Staff Writer
Federal agents Wednesday completed the shutdown of a major U.S. money-laundering operation for Colombia's Medellin cocaine cartel, charging 29 more defendants with drug and currency violations and seizing tens of millions of dollars in bank accounts. Wrapping up Operation Polar Cap, a federal grand jury in Atlanta unsealed indictments of a Colombian bank and its Panamanian subsidiary on charges of conspiring on the shipment of more than $1 billion in U.S.
NEWS
May 6, 1990 | from Associated Press
Federal drug agents served warrants to confiscate $17.6 million in South Florida financial institutions as a nationwide drug money laundering crackdown focuses on suspicious accounts, a spokesman said Saturday. Federal officials froze $400 million in more than 750 accounts nationally three weeks ago as part of the long-running Operation Polar Cap. Investigators have been working to pin down the origin of the funds, said Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman John Fernandes.
NEWS
August 22, 1989 | From Reuters
The Justice Department announced today that it has started proceedings to extradite from Colombia a Medellin drug cartel figure wanted on charges of laundering huge sums of money. Eduardo Martinez Romero, arrested by Colombian police Sunday in the nationwide operation against drug dealers, was indicted by a federal grand jury last March on money-laundering charges. "The extradition process has begun," one federal law enforcement official said.
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