OPINION: Explanations  needed for renewal of ports contract

 
359Views 6Comments Posted 24/06/2021

Finally, Panama Ports Company (PPC) obtained the renewal of the operation contract for the Balboa and Cristóbal ports. Its current terms appear to have met the expectations of the company, but little is known about the benefits that the State will receive, except that PPC promised to pay a minimum of million in dividends, which represent about $175 million in 25 years, a sum that it is not the least bit impressive, considering this company's poor compliance record, despite the Comptroller's assurance that it fulfilled all of its obligations. The truth is that PPC paid its first million to Panama just 6 years ago, that is, it stopped paying the State for 18 years. As for its investments, PPC did not make them just to fulfill the contract. These respond to strictly commercial reasons  - I would never have built facilities to keep them idle, without use.

It is clear that their business grew in our ports, but Panama has suffered the loss of its interests due to the unscrupulous conduct of this company, which has treated its partner with great contempt. The Government owes us, more than a statement, comprehensive explanations on the renewal of this contract. – LA PRENSA, Jun. 24



Comments 6

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George Klk

Panama: Balboa / Cristobal and the Hutchison (Hong Kong) Security Issue. Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-12/08/008r-120899-idx.html I recently studied this article since learning about a Hutchison bidding contract at the time of the handover of the Panama Canal back in 1999. At the time there was some concern among a U.S. Republican about the Chinese threat as a national security issue. There does not appear to be a threat with China according to the article posted link above. Times have changed with national alliances and new communications technologies and the very creative subverted financing of big projects. There are now more sophisticated underground operations in... Panama with various clandestine front men / henchmen over the years involving $100's millions to at least... $9 billion with the Odebrecht deals tied to illegal political campaign financing. Former Panama president Martinelli has assured his method of operation with controlling executive powers are possible at his expert hands over his years of experience as Panama's president. Martinelli appears to work very closely with Italian associates including Italy's Berlusconi back in his hey days. Berlusconi has been alleged to commit at least 30 crimes including an association with a minor... all of which he denies without much information on the legalities at this time. Berlusconi has visited Panama and was about to lose Italy's participation in constructing the... Panama Canal Expansion unless he was committed to building the Children's hospital as a condition from the former Panama president Martinelli at the time. As we all know... the builders of the canal's construction company lost a significant amount of money due to their low bid to get the Panama Canal Expansion contract. Italy construction company would have the incentive to get this money back one way or another and possibly as the perfect justifiable excuse to gain at least part ownership. Martinelli's cohorts and front men have been steadily working behind the scene as was evident from the news media report of the... Panama offshore island operator - head banker / Ferrugia! Certainly, the United States would be well aware of the situation since the security threat was brought up by the Republican's concern of the China threat. How Italy factors into this is a matter of further investigation with the... Martinelli underground operation, but maybe with the extradition of one of Martinelli's son wanted for questioning on money laundering, a money trail could be ascertained for further evidence and a broader understanding on the scope concerning the new... Panama Canal Expansion and who just may be interested in a plot takeover of an incredible monetary revenue source!

1 month ago
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George Klk

Panama: Italian Mafia Agenda for Panama. Why was there a sudden interest in Panama after the election with the Martinelli administration? Could it be... Italian mafia will use the new Panama Canal Expansion as a front for further underground activities? Italian head-banker would need to financially control the new Panama Canal expansion somehow. Italian head-banker Ferrugia is out of the picture for now but... there is certainly a plan 'B' with another new head-banker. Italian mafia would need to control Hutchinson possibly through protection money. Italian mafia could say... 'Hey bud, You're on Italian island marine territory, pay up! An extraordinary sum would cut into Hutchinson profits with little option but to sell their port container. Panama new unconstitutional advisors could rewrite and combine the... Panama Canal Expansion with their offshore island territory... effectively owning the Panama Canal Expansion with all its profits. Then there is the high toll fees and a new international rebellion with legal complexities years into the making. This may be one of the main reasons... former president Martinelli needs to be re-elected!!! Martinelli is extremely good at this type of underhanded corruption with his loyal henchmen. Basically... Panama is in trouble and very quickly, there is not much time!

1 month ago
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George Klk

Captain, you impressed me with your knowledge and I will have to study this further with a Hutchinson / Panama port investment operation. I always understood the employment to be mainly the Chinese citizens with their long expert experience in the container business. China influence may have been in providing consultation, but I am still under the notion that there is an element of corruption with the canals... either way the revenues go the State coffers as their cookie jar access to unaccountable missing sum of $100's millions for the... Panama National Assembly quickly turning into the Mafia piggy bank operation for their main offshore Panama island headquarter. Who know how far the Italian mafias will go to take the canals? I also know that the Panama canals are separate entities from the Panama State so it becomes... untouchable, but maybe Panama president will find a way around that with some... Italian flags at the Amador Causeway... Panama may actually prefer this for some phony benefit. There is more to this story, I will definitely check into this and try to cover any lack of knowledge based on your information. Thanks Captain.

1 month ago
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Captain

George , I have studied this case for years ..in fact back to Hutchison’s arrival in the country . The original port at Balboa was constrained to handling general cargo (no containers) with swinging jib style cranes. It was in an abandoned state as the Americans who had been running it had long pulled out . That was the state of affairs that Hutchison was faced with . They successfully converted this abandoned wreck of a port into the most modern and largest privately operated port in the whole of the Americas. They also invested circa 1.7bn dollars in the process as admitted by the government authorities yesterday. Along the way they gave employment opportunities to thousands of Panamanians and taught them modern container handling skills including but not limited to extensive hands on knowledge of sophisticated computer systems and state of the cargo handling equipment . In the process they gave the state a royalty fee of some 14 dollars for every container handled through the port and enabled the operation of the inter ocean rail system to be re established after it had laid abandoned for decades. The State in addition received 10% of any declared dividends Now here is the IMPORTANT bit. PPC is a subsidiary company within the Hutchison group…which in turn is a public company whose records are in the public domain. Back in Hong Kong. Hutchison would only benefit financially whenever PPC declared a dividend and here is the point completely ignored in this posted in La Prensa. PPC used all the income it received to reinvest in the port infrastructure and pay that 14 dollar royalty to the State. All this is in public records . That’s where the 1.7 Bn came from and PPC was not really in a position to declare dividends as a result. In fact I think they only declared one or two. So it’s right to say that whereas the State earned well over a hundred million in income Hutchison actually got back 9m dollars (declared dividend ) in that 25 year period. Seems incredible but you have to remember that investment was huge and spent on a massive upgrade of the existing abandoned port area. Hong Kong naturally accepted this as a consequence of the heavy capital involved in modern port developments and the long payback time to recover that investment. Panama meanwhile gets a modern port built at no cost to us and employment etc for its citizens. The risk was all Hutchisons….

1 month ago
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George Klk

Panama: Question of Financial Note Instruments. How many notes are there in Panama business investment portfolios? How many notes are tied to former president Martinelli and his head banker/s front men. Where do they operate... Panama offshore island? How is this money hidden from public view? What other entities operate in Panama similar to Mossack Fonseca? Do notes of this nature slow down Panama's economy and does it specifically work for the... Panama National Assembly millionaire's club per say? What ever happened to the Panama Colon $600 million renovation plan? Investigate and catch more Cortiz untouchables under the advice of... unenforced unconstitutional Imposter advisors! So far... three of them.

1 month ago
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George Klk

Panama: Port Contracts Many Varied Options to Maximize Profits. Contracts are now scrutinized for corruptions makes for more complex handling information. The longer the contracts the payments increase at the end of term. End of term contracts goes to various branches of recipients; some may find it way to... questionable recipients more likely for another re-election campaign. A party movement of a cash flow system off the books! Now, of course there is a need for desperate cash and the secret crypt was finally opened. But... will waiting for the long-term accumulated sum be enough? No. So, what's next? Creative financing! Sell the note! Who gets the note? Better yet, who sells the note? The note is a collateral for any new cash flow system... get it? What bank will look at the note? A note for a $100 million depends on the accumulated sum at the end of the contract! This happens in Real Estate sales quite often. Most of the time these notes go back years and forgotten. Forgotten and buried without any investigation... corruption? Who gets the money? Panama citizens from the state? Keep dreaming... Panama is left out of it more likely of course.

1 month ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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