ANOTHER PILLAR of the Waked family empire is disappearing as the creditors of Soho Mall have agreed on the formation of a board of directors to manage the facility and receive bids from potential buyers.
The National Bank of Panama (BNP), whose manager is León Rolando, will act as the trustee, reports La Prensa.
Soho Mall, a flagship project of the Waked group does not have debts with the BNP, which is also in charge of the trust to which the assets of Felix B. Maduro, another jewel in the family crown, were transferred.
As the new directors of Soho Mall, creditor banks selected Rafael Reyes, José Barrios and Héctor Alexander.
Reyes is director at Multibank. He was previously linked to Banco Continental and was on the Board of Directors of the Banking Association of Panama.
Barrios is an engineer by profession. He held managerial positions in the Panama Canal, Esso Standard Oil, Cerveceria Nacional, and Cable & Wireless.
Alexander was Minister of Economy and Finance in the government of Martín Torrijos. He was deputy manager of the Colon Free Zone and has been representative to international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Abdul Waked, the owner of Soho Mall, was placed on the Clinton sanction list by the U.S. government in May for alleged links to money laundering and drug smuggling cartels.
The appointment of a board of directors will allow the mall to stay in business until it is sold. He owes about $176 million for the project.
Waked, who has been banned from entering the USA during the last 20 years. has already lost control of the family bank and the group’s trust company. His nephew Nidal, is in detention in Colombia awaiting extradition to Florida where prosecutors are calling for a 50-year jail term.
A separate, but slow moving investigation is underway in Panama.