Panamanian TBML suspect extradited from Colombia to face US justice

A prominent Panamanian businessman held since May 2016 in Colombia and wanted for money laundering by the US has been extradited there, according to Colombian officials.

Last year the US treasury department imposed sanctions on Nidal Waked and several of his relatives who allegedly ran a conglomerate focused on providing trade-based money laundering (TBML) as a service (Trade-based Financial Crime, 9 May 2016).

Court appearance

Colombian police reportedly handed Waked over to US Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Bogota. The Panamanian will now appear before a US district court on charges of money laundering, according to the head of the Colombian National Police’s Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol, General Jose Luis Vargas.Waked’s defence team wanted their client extradited to the US so he can exercise his right of legal defence whereas in Colombia he has been unable to contest the accusations levelled against him by US authorities.

TBML identified

In May 2015, the treasury department named Waked and his nephew, Nidal Waked, as ‘Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers,’ accusing them of co-leading a Panama-based drug money-laundering network.A network of 68 companies used TBML techniques, including false commercial invoicing, bulk cash smuggling and other money laundering methods to launder drug proceeds on behalf of multiple international drug traffickers and their organisations according to the department.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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