Duque says Saab’s extradition is a triumph against drug trafficking

The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, assured this Saturday that the extradition to the United States of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, carried out this Saturday by Cape Verde, is a triumph in the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering.

The Colombian businessman, alleged front man for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, had been detained since June 2020 in Cape Verde and was extradited today by the African country.

Saab, claimed by the United States for alleged money laundering, was sent on a plane to that country, thus ending a lengthy legal dispute over his detention, questioned by Venezuela, which he described as "kidnapping" surrender to the US authorities.

"Alex Saab’s extradition is a triumph in the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption that has led to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro"the Colombian head of state wrote on his Twitter.

Duque added that "Colombia has supported and will continue to support the US in an investigation against a transnational crime network led by Saab".

Last August, Duque considered that the extradition of Saab to the United States was essential to unveil the "dark ties" of the Venezuelan Government with drug trafficking.

"It is necessary and essential so that all the dark links of the Venezuelan dictatorship with drug trafficking, with money laundering and with a very large criminal network can be exposed."said the president in an interview with the National Radio of Colombia.

Duque recalled that in Colombia the Prosecutor’s Office is carrying out the process of extinction of domain (expropriation) of eight properties of the businessman, with which the authorities seek to prosecute "all those who have benefited from this network", that "They range from beneficiaries, partners and people who have been linked to money laundering".

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The president also assured that the Colombian authorities have "permanently collaborated in that process" and delivered "a great package of information to solidify all the investigations being carried out by the United States Department of the Treasury and the DEA".

Saab, born in the Colombian city of Barranquilla and of Lebanese origin, is related to several companies, among them Group Grand Limited (GGL), accused of corruption and of supplying the Maduro regime with food and supplies for the government Local Committees of Supply and Production (CLAP).

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