Thursday, September 4, 2014

Global Impact: Greek Citizen, 54, Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Providing Arms to FARC

According to The Latin American Tribune a New York City federal court on Wednesday (September 3) sentenced Greek citizen Ioannis Viglakis, 54, to ten years in prison for attempting to sell arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), judicial authorities said.

Viglakis AKA “Pablo,” was arrested in Panamá in August 2012 at the request of the United States for allegedly providing support to a “foreign terrorist organization” which was not identified at the time.

The District Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, upon announcing the sentence on Wednesday, noted that Viglakis--after being extradited to the United States-- had pleaded guilty in December 2013 before US District Judge Katherine B. Forrest  for attempting to provide material support to the FARC.

Judge Forrest imposed the sentence on Viglakis, 54, on Wednesday.

COMMENT: The defendant had held a series of meetings with a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant who said he represented the FARC and with undercover DEA agents, according to court documents.

At the meetings, the documents attest, Viglakis offered to provide the Colombian guerrilla organization with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers and ground-to-air missiles, as well as ammunition, in exchange for cocaine and cash.

Viglakis delivered three grenade launchers and six RPGs as a sample of what he could provide. 

In Panamá, he gave the DEA informant 8,500 euros (about $11,180 at the current exchange rate) as partial payment for the FARC to ship cocaine to Spain on his behalf.

The US court sentenced Viglakis to 120 months in prison given that he had discussed with the DEA informant using the weapons to shoot down US aircraft in Colombia.