US lifts restrictions on 2 Panama newspapers

The United States has lifted restrictions on two Panama newspapers wrapped up in money laundering allegations against their owner.

U.S. Ambassador John Feeley says in a statement that Abdul Waked transferred his shares in La Estrella de Panama and El Siglo to a foundation.

La Estrella reported Monday that its majority stockholder had donated his shares and it had been "unblocked" by the United States.

In May 2016, the U.S. government prohibited U.S. citizens or entities from doing business with dozens of Waked-related companies. The newspapers had to lay off staff and reduce circulation.

Waked has denied the allegations. His nephew, Nidal Waked, was arrested on a U.S. warrant in Colombia in May 2016.

La Estrella is Panama's oldest newspaper.