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INVESTIGATION

Varela asks that Waked employees be protected

He said that a priority needs to be to "protect the population."

Spanish version

Temas:

President Juan Carlos Varela released a statement today in which he said he is working with Minister of Economy and Finance Dulcidio de La Guardia and U.S. officials to "protect the jobs of the Panamanians affected" by the investigation into Grupo Waked.

"We have already initiated direct consultations and I have applied for continuous reports on the progress of the same," said the president.

He said that his priority at the moment is to protect "our people and our institutions."

He said that the "independent" justice system and Panamanian regulators are "doing their jobs in accordance with their powers" and that they have taken all the immediate measures "to protect the integrity of our stock market and investors."

The Waked family, whose visible leaders are Abdul Waked and Nidal Waked, was linked Thursday to an international network of drug trafficking and money-laundering by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

U.S. authorities identified nine individuals and 68 companies that have been placed on the Clinton list, which prohibits U.S. citizens and companies with ties in the U.S. for doing business with them.

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