15 Soho Mall shops closed

Soho Mall where luxury reigns
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SOME  15 shops have closed since May 5 in Panama’s high end  Soho Mall, ollowing  US against its owners, the Waked family.

The United States Department of the Treasury, through its Bureau of Foreign Assets (OFAC) put Westline Enterprises Inc (project owner) on the Clinton List, along  with  66 corporations linked to Abdul and his nephew Nidal Waked, accused of laundering drug money

The nephew  is in jail in Bogota awaiting deportation to Florida where a prosecutor in calling for a 50 year jail term.

Meanwhile  Panama’s Chamber of Commerce is calling  on US authorities to grant  operating licenses to the stores.

The store closings were confirmed by Dominico Ferrante during an event at the Chamber

Delicate situation
 Ferrante, the spokesman for a group of 80 stores that have invested $60 million in the project, said that “it is a delicate situation.”

He said the stores are not receiving merchandise.

“The national government together with the ambassador of the United States must do something immediately to solve what is happening,” he added

The businessman said that two meetings with the Ministry of Economy and Finance on this topic have been cancelled.

Mall employees concerned oer their future

Mall employees concerned about their future

Chamber President Jorge García Icaza urged the national government and the US embassy to issue a license to allow stores in the mall to engage in business with US entities.

“There are 80 store owners who have no responsibility for what happened,” he said.

The former Waked flagship  is in trust with creditor banks until it is sold.

The Felix B. Maduro store chain is also in trust  awaiting a buyer.



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