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Panamanian Gov’t Denies to U.S. “Risk of Money Laundering”

Panama's Minister of Economy and Finances Dulcidio De la Guardia/Photo: La Prensa
Panamanian Gov’t Denies to U.S. “Risk of Money Laundering”

The Government of Panama rejected today the remarks of the Department of Financial Services of New York (NYDES), of the United States, as a high-risk jurisdiction for money laundering.

The Minister of Economy and Finances Dulcidio De la Guardia told reporters he received an official communique of the U.S. Treasury Department or the State of New York, rejecting the remark.

In a document revealing a sanction of 180 million dollars to Taiwan’s Mega International Commercial Bank, for not complying with U.S. norms regarding capital laundering, the regulator referred to certain suspicious activities that involve a subsidiary of the Asian Bank in Panama.

NYDES affirmed the isthmus ‘has historically been recognized as a high-risk jurisdiction for money laundering, and only this year was announced that Panama was not object to a monitoring process by the Group of Financial Activity (GAFI)’.

De la Guardia explained that ‘opening a bank account in this account is very complicated, a great deal of information is requested. But it is easy to hit a fallen tree. That is what is happening’, lamented the official.

‘If the Bank of New York did not comply with the requirements, that is a responsibility of the regulator of New York, the same as it is a responsibility of the Superintendence of Banks of Panama (SBP) that banks in Panama comply with the norm’, he argued.

Last Monday, the superintendent Ricardo Fernandez informed that an investigation was opened in Panama on the Taiwan entity, after the sanction imposed by NYDES.

The information offered by the New York regulator identifies a relation between the bank information and the revelations of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, known as Panama Papers, although the U.S. ambassador in this capital, John Feeley, denied such a relation, according to daily La Estrella.

Andres Fernandez, expert in financial issues, assured the newspaper that ‘there are regulations pending in the United States for years and, after the Panama Papers scandal, a new regulatory framework was casually approved in its final form’.

Political analysts suspiciously see these actions that attempt against the economy of the country and, for the second time, comes from a U.S. government institution.

‘After the debacle and bankruptcy of the French Channel there has not been a dismantlement, suffocation and destruction process of a commercial conglomerate in Panama like the Waked Case’, denounced the Bayano newspaper in its digital edition.

It referred to the form in which the French enterprise that started the Panama Canal was forced to sell its assets to the U.S. government, at lower prices than its true value, and the recent inclusion iun the Clinton List of the Waked family empire, whose owner is forced to rid himself from its assets, under an extraterritorial sanction.

Source/Prensa Latina
CF/IC

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