Cape Verde approves extradition of master of trade-based money laundering

The Cape Verde government has approved the extradition to the US of Colombian businessman Alex Saab who was recently arrested whilst the private jet he was flying in was refuelling in the African island republic.

He is allegedly a close ally of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, and investigators in Miami said they wanted Saab to face federal money-laundering charges accusing him of bribing Venezuelan government officials and funnelling more than US$350 million into overseas accounts (Trade Based Financial Crime, 24 June 2020).

Appeal process

Saab can still appeal the decision made by the Cape Verde government on the recommendation of the country’s Attorney General’s Office.

If Saab appeals the government’s approval, Cape Verde’s Barlavento Appeals Tribunal will make a final judgment.

Venezuelan connections

Maduro reportedly fears that if Saab is extradited it could lead to a plea deal that would expose financial information about his regime, which is accused by Washington of running a drug cartel.

Federal prosecutors in April accused Maduro of participating in a narco-terrorism conspiracy, in a major escalation of the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure him to leave office.

The Miami US Attorney’s Office has charged Saab and his business partner, Álvaro Pulido, with operating a corruption and money-laundering network that funnelled US$350 million from Venezuela’s state coffers abroad.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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