Move to block organized crime probe rejected

Ricardo Chanis
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AN ATTEMPT to overturn an Organized Crime investigation into the purchase -allegedly with state funds-  of a newspaper that became a mouthpiece for Ricardo Martinelli, has been tossed out.

The Eighteenth Criminal Court declared unproven an incident of controversy presented by Ricardo Chanis Correa, who was trying to overturn the September 2017 order to investigate, issued by the First Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime related to transactions for the purchase of the Editora Panama group America, S.A. (Epasa), in the  case known as “New Business.”

In the ruling of December 11, 2017, Judge Baloisa Marquínez denied the certification issued by the Caja de Ahorros  (CA), in which it shows that Chanis Correa was part of the board of directors of the banking entity.

Documentation provided by the CA showed that at a meeting on December 14, 2010, The Board of Directors approved a pledge loan to Henri Mizrachi for $4 million and a commercial loan to the  Office Global Corp., for $3 million. According to the ruling of the judge, the loan was “for working capital, however, these funds ended up being used for the purchase of Grupo Panamá América. “.

According to the judge, Chanis Correa “is the person who is the company Tphac Inc buyer of the shares of Epasa and also is the one who signed the sales contract with Francisco Arias Vallarino “, representative of Epasa.

The prosecution is investigating another 30 people accused of money laundering in the purchase of the company that publishes Panama America. The CA is the center of another criminal investigation into a multi-million dollar  loan to a company building an unfinished convention center

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