THE JAILED nephew of Abdul Waked who heads the family conglomerate in the eye of an alleged money laundering storm, says he is not cutting a deal with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Nidal Waked, a Panamanian entrepreneur is currently detained in Colombia awaiting extradition to the US where a prosecutor is calling for a 50-year prison sentence.
He said that he is not cooperating with the DEA in any of its investigations.
“I don’t have anything to negotiate because I have not done anything. I want to reach the United States so that I will be able to defend myself once and for all. That’s my desire,” said Waked in an interview with the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo from La Picota Jail in Bogota.
Waked, his uncle Abdul, and 68 of their companies were included on a sanctions list in May for their alleged ties to drug traffickers.
Nidal Waked was arrested while in Colombia on charges related to financial irregularities in the U.S.
In September, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos endorsed the extradition of Waked to the United States. He has not fought extradition.
Waked, 44, said that there are political and business interests in Panama that benefit from his situation, which is why the government has not intervened on his behalf.
“It is not a coincidence that everything bad that happens to us is benefiting busineemen who are very close friends to the government,” said Waked, without giving further details.
He said also that he is not linked to the businesses of his uncle, and that the two run separate enterprises.