MIAMI (AP) - Three men working for a Miami-area refinery are accused of importing more than $1 billion in illegally mined gold from South America in a vast money-laundering scheme from 2013 to 2016.

U.S. prosecutors say in a criminal complaint that the three employees of NTR Metals Miami and accomplices from several South American countries coordinated the purchase of illegally mined gold originating from Peruvian mines controlled by drug traffickers. The Dallas-based parent company of NTR has not been charged. The company declined requests for comment.

Prosecutor Francisco Maderal says the international gold trade has become "a common method for the laundering of illegal mining, narcotics and other criminal proceeds."

The men are scheduled to be tried in U.S. District Court in January 2018.


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