Venezuela charges former counter-narcotics boss with money laundering

Venezuela charges former counter-narcotics boss with money laundering

CARACAS - Venezuela has indicted a former head of counter-narcotics at the CICPC investigative police on money laundering charges, part of a bigger scandal linking the South American OPEC nation and tax haven Andorra.

Norman Puerta had been under investigation for allegedly transferring more than US$1 million (S$1.32 million) from Panama to the Banca Privada d'Andorra (BPA), Venezuela's public prosecutor's office said in a statement on Friday.

Andorra's financial authority took control of BPA in March after the United States said the lender was under suspicion for money laundering.

The US allegations included that BPA facilitated the movement of about US$4.2 billion in transfers related to Venezuelan money laundering.

The public prosecutor's office did not mention other allegations or investigations. No one at the office was immediately available for comment.

Puerta was apprehended in Andorra in June 2010, and Venezuela issued an arrest warrant for him shortly afterwards. He turned himself in earlier on Friday and will be jailed pending trial, the office added.

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