Suspected Panama money-launderer arrested

Influential Panamanian businessman Nidal Waked has been arrested in Bogota on suspicion of money-laundering, local media reported Thursday.

He was arrested on Thursday at the Colombian capital's airport at the request of US authorities, police said, according to the El Espectador newspaper.

Waked is accused of having laundered money for drug cartels. The Waked Group is designated as a narcotics trafficker on a US Treasury Department blacklist, along with several other Panamanian firms.

“This action exposes the Waked Money Laundering Organization and disrupts its ability to launder drug trafficking proceeds using trade-based methods, duty-free retail, real estate development, and financial services throughout the region," said John E Smith, the acting director of the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The group's assets in Panama and the United States were frozen.

Panama a month ago found itself at the centre of a financial scandal after a huge leak of legal documents revealed the details of offshore shell companies used by the rich and famous around the world to store their wealth.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

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