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El Salvador's Attorney General Douglas Melendez arrives at a hotel which was raided by police during an operation to detain Jose Adan Salazar, in San Salvador, El Salvador, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas


SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - A high-profile El Salvadoran businessman, who is wanted by the U.S. government for suspected drug trafficking, was arrested on money-laundering charges on Tuesday, the attorney general's office said.

Jose Adan Salazar was taken into custody after a series of raids on hotels, gas stations, ranches, homes and other premises linked to him, the attorney general's office said.

"The crime that led to this is laundering of money and assets," Attorney General Douglas Melendez told reporters. Three other people were also arrested, he said.

The U.S. Treasury Department added Salazar to its list of designated drug kingpins in 2014. Melendez, asked if Salazar's arrest was linked to the United States, said it was carried out on the basis of a Salvadoran probe.

Salazar, who is 68 according to the Treasury Department's website, was not immediately available for comment.

Between 2007 and 2011, Salazar was chairman of Isidro Metapan, one of El Salvador's most successful soccer teams.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Paul Tait)

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