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2 sons of former Panama president detained in US

November 22, 2018

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Officials confirmed Wednesday that two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli have been detained in the United States.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that Ricardo Martinelli Linares and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares had been detained in a raid in the Coral Gables neighborhood of Miami on Tuesday and were being held pending deportation proceedings.

“Both men lawfully entered the U.S.; however, their visas were revoked in 2017, and they have been unlawfully present in the U.S. since that time,” ICE said in a statement.

Both are being sought on corruption charges in Panama, though Panama Attorney General Kenia Porcell told local media she didn’t know if that was why they were detained in Miami.

Former President Ricardo Martinelli governed Panama from 2009 to 2014. He was extradited from the U.S. earlier this year to face political espionage and embezzlement charges.

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