Luis Fernando Cediel, the remaining member of financial company DMG’s money-laundering team still at large, was captured in Venezuela Wednesday.
He was found hiding in a tourist cabin in Falcon state near Pueblo Nuevo, in northern Venezuela.
Venezuelan Minister for the Interior and Justice, Tarek El Aissami, Thursday annouced his capture, saying that Cediel was wanted by the United States for drug trafficking and money laundering.
Cediel is considered by both Colombian and United States authorities as DMG’s key money-launderer, allegedly laundering money from Mexican drug cartels, reported newspaper El Tiempo.
Lawyers for DMG’s victims said that Cediel could have escaped with 150 billion pesos (approx. US$81 million) of their clients’ savings, reported W Radio.
His wife, Margarita Pabon, who is also detained as part of the DMG ring, said that her husband had as much power as DMG director David Murcia.
Luis Fernando Cediel is a 33 year old engineer. A New York prosecutor who charged him with conspiracy to launder money, said that via DEA reports, Cediel was revealed as the mastermind behind the group of companies that Murcia and his associates called ‘The Holding’, which moved millions of dollars of drug money across bank accounts in Mexico and the United States.
Cediel’s contact in North America was Santiago Baranchuk Rueda, cousin of Daniel Ángel Rueda, a DMG executive who cut a deal with the Prosecution and admitted that the company was laundering money in exchange for an abbreviated sentence.