The news from Colombia this week is that the government and its principal insurgent adversary, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, more commonly known as the FARC, have reached an agreement on ending the 50-year conflict between them. the FARC, formed as the military arm of the Colombian Communist Party, has reportedly agreed to demobilize, and enter domestic politics.
Of major interest to the financial world is the status of the billions of dollars in FARC narco-profits, which resides in tax haven banks, and has been invested overseas, including in the countries of the European Union. What will become of those illicit profits, and will the banks that knowingly accepted large deposits of the FARCs dirty money be sanctioned as a result ? Will FARC "diplomats" abroad help themselves to this money, as Russians did after the breakup of the Soviet Union ?
Unfortunately, the details of the agreement have not been released, but if the ultimate disposition of the obscene FARC wealth is not that it will be repatriated, and used to compensate victims of the civil war, it is feared that greedy FARC leaders, no longer committed socialists, but now merely career criminals, will seek to enrich themselves. In short, they will take the money and run.
We hope and trust that the Colombian Government has had the foresight to ascertain the locations of the FARCs dirty money stash, as well as investments, and will recover those assets for the people of Colombia. Otherwise, it will serve to fund a new group of transnational criminals.