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Suspected Panama money-launderer arrested

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

The Acting Director of the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, John E Smith, said that Waked was arrested on Thursday at the Colombian capital’s airport at the request of U.S. authorities.

“Waked is accused of having laundered money for drug cartels.

“The Waked Group is designated as a narcotics trafficker on a U.S. Treasury Department blacklist, along with several other Panamanian firms.

“This action exposes the Waked Money Laundering Organisation and disrupts its ability to launder drug trafficking proceeds using trade-based methods.

“Methods like duty-free retail, real estate development, and financial services throughout the region,’’Smith said.

However, the group’s assets in Panama and the U.S. were frozen.

Panama 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.


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