LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Six people connected to an alleged international drug trafficking ring and money laundering operation have been indicted on federal charges after a six-year global investigation that started in Las Vegas, according to Nevada authorities.
The six defendants, all from the Western U.S., are facing nearly 100 criminal charges as a result of nine law enforcement agencies working closely together in an investigation called “Operation Money Maker.”
Three of the defendants, including Barak Amar, 51 of Las Vegas, Arshak Arayan, 41 of Los Angeles, Calif., and Ofir Frieden, 38 of San Jose, Calif., are facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Three other defendants, who allegedly “wrote checks to co-conspirators in exchange for cash constituting illegal drug proceeds” are facing money laundering charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou of the District of Nevada said. They include Djekem Kedoshim, 31 of Seattle, Moshe Malka, 36 of Las Vegas, and Shine True, 39 of Phoenix.
“Everything we’re talking about today are mere allegations that have not been proven yet in court,” Chiou said during a news conference Wednesday.
The FBI says this was a successful partnership to fight organized crime, and they expect more arrests to come.
“This operation should serve as a warning to other criminal organizations that regardless of where they operate, the FBI and our outstanding law enforcement partners around the world will root them out and bring them to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI Las Vegas Field Office.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Australian Federal Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Colombian National Police, the Costa Rican Judicial Investigation Organization, the Israeli National Police, the SRA – Romanian Intelligence Service, and the UK National Crime Agency.