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Walid Makled, alleged drug lord, sent to Venezuela

Walid Makled, the alleged drug kingpin who was extradited to Venezuela on Monday, is willing to provide authorities there information that would implicate Venezuelan generals and politicians, his lawyer said.

Miguel Ángel Ruiz, Makled’s Colombian lawyer, said his client would like to appear before Venezuela’s National Assembly to hand over evidence that at least five legislators and 40 generals were on his payroll.

“He is going to face the charges against him but he also wants to make these accusations,” Ruiz told The Miami Herald, hours after Makled was hustled onto an airplane bound for Caracas. “He feels and believes that the best setting for those accusations is in front of the full Venezuelan parliament.”

Makled has been in Colombian custody since August, when he was picked up on a U.S. drug warrant. His arrest sparked an intense extradition battle between the United States and Venezuela, where the government of Hugo Chávez wants him on charges of murder and drug trafficking.

Makled has maintained his innocence and said he built his business empire on the back of an airline, government contracts and warehouse operations at state-run ports.

In several jailhouse interviews, Makled, 47, said he had videotapes and other evidence that proved Venezuelan politicians and generals were complicit in his business dealings and had turned a blind eye to drug operations.

Last month, Makled — also known as “El Turco” or “The Turk” — told Univision that he paid Gen. Hugo Carvajal, Venezuela’s director of Military Intelligence, 100 million bolivares (about $23,300) a week.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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