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PANAMA CITY – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says Colombian authorities have arrested a Panama-based man who allegedly ran a top worldwide money-laundering organization for drug traffickers.
The DEA also says it has designated Nidal Waked as a drug kingpin. It says Waked was arrested Wednesday night at the airport in Colombia's capital, Bogota.
The agency on Thursday described Waked as "one of the world's most significant drug money launderers and criminal facilitators." It said he faces money laundering and bank fraud charges in Florida.
Waked allegedly used a series of Panamanian import-export, retail and real estate businesses to launder drug money.
The kingpin designation also names six of Waked's Panama-based associates and seven companies. The designation freezes any U.S. assets and prohibits people in the U.S. from doing business with them.