By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A senior U.S. official says that a top fugitive close to Venezuela’s socialist government has been put on a plane to the U.S. to face money laundering charges.

Alex Saab was on a chartered Justice Department flight from Cape Verde, where he was arrested 16 months ago while making a stop on the way to Iran for what Nicolás Maduro’s government later described as a diplomatic humanitarian mission. The official spoke on condition he not be named.

Saab’s arrival to the U.S. is bound to complicate relations between Washington and Caracas, possibly disrupting fledgling talks between Maduro’s government and its U.S.-backed opponents taking place in Mexico.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSMiami.com Team