GLOBAL ECONOMY

Venezuela arrests businessman and his mother in Panama Papers scandal

A police officer stands outside Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

A police officer stands outside Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Tuesday, April 12, 2016.  (ap)

Venezuelan prosecutors have charged two relatives of a former presidential security guard whose name appeared in documents about offshore investments leaked from a Panama law firm.

Officials arrested businessman Josmel Velasquez and his mother on charges of money laundering and criminal association. Officials later allowed his mother to return home for health reasons.

Velasquez's brother Adrian was named in the "Panama Papers" leak. He worked at the presidential palace during the administration of late President Hugo Chávez. The documents indicate he opened a shell company with help from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The prosecutor's office said Wednesday that the two relatives were detained April 15 as they tried to catch a fight out of the country. Officials said they found luxury cars and other lavish purchases at their properties.

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