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House Passes Rep. Posey’s Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Justice for American Victims of Terrorism

Washington, July 13, 2016 - Today the House of Representatives passed the CAPTIVE Act (H.R. 3394), bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) which ensures that American victims of terrorism can collect the blocked assets derived from drug proceeds as compensation awarded through court judgments. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. David Trott (R-MI), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Randy Forbes (R-VA), Ted Poe (R-TX) and Tom Rooney (R-FL).

“The CAPTIVE Act is an important step forward in providing justice to American victims of terrorism,” said Rep. Posey. “More and more terrorist groups like ISIS, the FARC, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram are financed by revenue from the global drug trade. This common sense bill would allow the funds seized from terrorists’ drug operations to be used to satisfy the judgments won by their American victims.”

On February 13, 2003, four Americans on a U.S. Government counter-narcotics mission were captured by the FARC, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in Colombia that controls the majority of the world’s cocaine traffic. The pilot, Tom Janis, was executed at the crash site. The three survivors (Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Tom Howes) were held captive in the jungle for 5 1/2 years.

These Americans have obtained a judgment ($300 million) under the Anti-Terrorism Act for damages against the FARC to compensate them for the terrible acts they experienced during their captivity and the execution of one American. However, there are no FARC assets in the U.S. except for drug monies of FARC agents – the traffickers and money launderers - which now sit in accounts that have been blocked under the Kingpin Act. The CAPTIVE Act will allow these heroes and other victims of terrorism, to collect blocked assets derived from drug proceeds. A Senate companion bill (S.2909) has been introduced by Senators Nelson and Rubio.

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