Colombian-Panamanian businessman Nidal Waked will remain in custody in Miami until his trial, tentatively scheduled for October 30.
Waked, age 45 and based in Panama before his arrest, pled not guilty to charges of “knowingly and willfully” engaging in financial and monetary transactions designed to conceal drug-trafficking proceeds.
At the time of his arrest in May, the US Treasury said that the money-laundering operation run by Waked and family members “uses trade-based money laundering schemes, such as false commercial invoicing; bulk cash smuggling; and other money laundering methods, to launder drug proceeds on behalf of multiple international drug traffickers and their organizations”.
The Waked family business holdings in Panama include a chain of duty-free shops, luxury goods, real estate, a bank and the Estrella de Panama, the country’s oldest newspaper.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola denied Waked’s second request for bail, based on his access to money and multiple passports and lack of incentives to stay in the United States.
He is currently being held in the downtown Miami detention center, and would be transferred to immigration custody at the Krome Detention Center.