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News from Panama:




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Panama Papers law firm partners arrested

February 13, 2017
Panama Papers law firm partners arrested PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, the founding partners of the law firm at the epicenter of the Panama Papers documents leak scandal, have been arrested by Panamanian authorities on suspicion of money laundering. Panama attorney Edison Teano, another partner...

Second police raid carried out at Panama Papers law firm offices

February 11, 2017
Second police raid carried out at Panama Papers law firm offices PANAMA CITY, Panama -- The attorney general of Panama, Kenia Porcell, has publicly stated that a second raid has now been conducted upon the law offices of Mossack and Fonseca, who were implicated in massive money laundering, tax evasion, and criminal enterprises of their clients.

Panama suspends investigation into Mossack Fonseca

January 27, 2017
Panama suspends investigation into Mossack Fonseca PANAMA CITY, Panama -- The attorney general of Panama, Kenia Porcell, has suspended the ongoing investigation into criminal conduct at the law firm of Mossack and Fonseca, whose files formed the basis for the infamous Panama Papers document leak, which exposed rampant...

US court authorises 'John Doe summons' in relation to Panama company

January 26, 2017
US court authorises 'John Doe summons' in relation to Panama company BILLINGS, USA -- On Tuesday, a US federal court in Montana unsealed an order authorizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to serve a “John Doe summons” on Michael Behr of Bozeman, Montana, seeking information about US taxpayers who may hold offshore accounts established by...

Panama Papers prompt tax agencies to draw up 'target list' of offshore enablers

January 21, 2017
Panama Papers prompt tax agencies to draw up 'target list' of offshore enablers PARIS, France (ICIJ) -- Tax agencies from 30 countries convened in Paris this week to take part in the largest ever simultaneous exchange of tax information and to share results and details on thousands of investigations sparked by the Panama Papers. The meeting of the Joint International...

Panama refuses to cooperate with Malta in Panama Papers scandal

January 16, 2017
Panama refuses to cooperate with Malta in Panama Papers scandal MIAMI, USA -- Tax authorities in Malta have announced that the government of Panama has declined to assist them in their investigations into tax evasion initiated following information released by journalists in the Panama Papers documents leak scandal. Tax investigators from Malta have...

Novel Facebook-based survey measures citizen frustration with bureaucracy in the Caribbean

January 13, 2017
Novel Facebook-based survey measures citizen frustration with bureaucracy in the Caribbean WASHINGTON, USA -- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched two studies that show the low regard citizens, including those in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, have for the quality of public services they receive and how innovation can help make these services...

Success with the culture of the Pacific spiny lobster in Panama

January 13, 2017
Success with the culture of the Pacific spiny lobster in Panama BOQUETE, Panama -- The Pacific spiny lobster of Panama (Panulirus gracilis) is in dire straits due to overfishing for many years without any regulation. Estimates of populations in the Bay of Chiriquí indicate numbers are dismally low and lobsters for sale are hard to find throughout the local province.

Angry Panamanians burn US ambassador in effigy

January 11, 2017
Angry Panamanians burn US ambassador in effigy PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Panamanians, facing a perfect storm of problems, with the Panama Papers documents leak and other financial scandals, have responded with an action straight out of the 1960s: a life-size effigy, made up to look like the American Ambassador John Feeley...

Panama's banking regulator names financial institutions fined for deficiencies

January 9, 2017
Panama's banking regulator names financial institutions fined for deficiencies MIAMI, USA -- The Superintendent of Banking in Panama (SBP) has published a list of local financial institutions that have been subject to civil fines and penalties in 2015 and 2016. Reportedly, there are fines and sanctions imposed quarterly, but this critical information was never made public.

Panama Papers: Bringing lasting change to Panama's offshore industry remains a challenge

December 31, 2016
Panama Papers: Bringing lasting change to Panama's offshore industry remains a challenge WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- In April, as the storm over the Panama Papers documents leak grew, President Juan Carlos Varela made a move that seemed to have a chance at reducing the uproar. He announced the appointment of a seven-member Committee of Independent Experts...

Panama Papers: Panama's revolving door shows global challenge of offshore reform

December 30, 2016
Panama Papers: Panama's revolving door shows global challenge of offshore reform WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- In June 2000, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced a blacklist of 35 “non-cooperative” jurisdictions – including Liechtenstein, The Bahamas and Panama – that were helping corporations and individuals sidestep taxes.

Panama Papers: Thwarting regulatory crackdowns

December 29, 2016
Panama Papers: Thwarting regulatory crackdowns WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- Panama’s leaders were defiant after the Panama Papers documents leak scandal broke open on April 3 this year via hundreds of news stories circling the globe. President Juan Carlos Varela’s chief of staff, Álvaro Alemán, called the disclosures about suspect dealings...

Press freedom organisation asks US to prevent closure of two Panama newspapers

December 29, 2016
Press freedom organisation asks US to prevent closure of two Panama newspapers MIAMI, USA -- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) last week asked United States Secretary of State John Kerry to intercede to prevent the shutdown of Panamanian newspapers El Siglo and La Estrella de Panamá next month, removing them from the "Clinton List”.

Brazilian company sent $59 million in bribes and kickbacks to Panama

December 28, 2016
Brazilian company sent $59 million in bribes and kickbacks to Panama MIAMI, USA -- Reports from the global investigation into the billions of dollars, paid by the Brazilian construction and petrochemical conglomerate Odebrecht to corrupt politically exposed persons worldwide to obtain lucrative government contracts, are focusing upon the massive bribes paid...

Panama's attempts at Panama Papers damage control fall short

December 12, 2016
Panama's attempts at Panama Papers damage control fall short MIAMI, USA -- The government of Panama, anxious to show the financial world that it is engaged in meaningful reform, has announced that it is adopting the recommendations of the controversial independent committee that was hastily formed as a counter to the national reputational...

Panama Papers law firm under fire: Authorities target Mossack Fonseca

December 9, 2016
Panama Papers law firm under fire: Authorities target Mossack Fonseca WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- On October 5, Ramón Fonseca, one of the founders of the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers documents leak, visited Momi, a bakery in Panama City known for its empanadas and cupcakes. Fonseca, a lawyer, award-winning novelist and former...

Panama Papers leak has 'enormous' financial impact

December 8, 2016
Panama Papers leak has 'enormous' financial impact WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- Over the past eight months, governments have reported using the leaked Panama Papers files to help recoup or seize tens of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes or other assets, including more than $80 million in Colombia, $1 million in Slovenia and...

Press freedom organisation calls for release of Dutch journalist jailed in Panama

December 8, 2016
Press freedom organisation calls for release of Dutch journalist jailed in Panama PARIS, France -- Press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for the immediate release of Okke Ornstein, a Panama-based Dutch journalist who was arrested last month in Panama City to begin serving the absurdly disproportionate 20-month jail sentence...

Panama Papers have had historic global effects - and the impacts keep coming

December 7, 2016
Panama Papers have had historic global effects - and the impacts keep coming WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- On April 7, 14 large blue letters quietly disappeared from the outer walls of an office building in an exclusive neighborhood in northern San Salvador. One by one, the letters came down from the blue and beige stucco walls, leaving behind faint traces of the...

Inter-American financial institution moves headquarters to Panama to boost regional infrastructure financing

December 6, 2016
Inter-American financial institution moves headquarters to Panama to boost regional infrastructure financing PANAMA CITY -- The Inter-American Corporation for Infrastructure Financing (CIFI), a leader non-bank financial institution dedicated to run projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, has decided to move its headquarters to Panama City. The objective of this measure is to leverage...

Panamanian organised crime prosecutor obtains extension in Panama Papers law firm investigation

November 28, 2016
Panamanian organised crime prosecutor obtains extension in Panama Papers law firm investigation PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Javier Caraballo, the lead organised crime prosecutor investigating Panama Papers law firm, Mossack Fonseca, since April 2016, has obtained an extension of time in which to continue his ongoing investigation of alleged criminal conduct at the firm.

Commentary: Panama's official committee report on financial reform is a whitewash

November 26, 2016
Commentary: Panama's official committee report on financial reform is a whitewash The long-awaited report of the Committee of Experts, engaged by the Republic of Panama to recommend reforms in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, has been filed. It is essentially a whitewash, and fails to address these critical issues: (1) The bearer-share nightmare, through which...

Slightly weaker Otto heads for Central America with torrential rains

November 24, 2016
Slightly weaker Otto heads for Central America with torrential rains MIAMI, USA -- Late season tropical cyclone Otto weakened slightly from hurricane force to a tropical storm as it took aim at Costa Rica and Nicaragua in Central America. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, at 4:00 pm EST on Wednesday, the centre of...

Experts urge Panama to reform financial services industry

November 23, 2016
Experts urge Panama to reform financial services industry WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- Panama must urgently address the perceived opacity of its offshore business model and do more to stop dark money flowing through its financial system, a report by a government-appointed panel of experts says. The five-person Committee of Experts, appointed by the government...

Late season tropical storm forms in the Caribbean

November 22, 2016
Late season tropical storm forms in the Caribbean MIAMI, USA -- After several days of threatening to become a tropical cyclone right at the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Otto has formed in the Caribbean about 190 miles (305 km) east-southeast of San Andres Island and about 315 miles (505 km) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.

Experts who quit Panama Papers panel produce their own report

November 19, 2016
Experts who quit Panama Papers panel produce their own report WASHINGTON, USA (ICIJ) -- Ending the kinds of offshore abuses revealed by the Panama Papers scandal requires a global solution led by the United States and Europe, a report released this week by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Swiss anti-corruption expert Mark Pieth says.

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