OPiNION: Panama’s weakest links

Tarnished judicial system

852Views 0Comments Posted 22/06/2019

Panama is again on the list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In spite of the important actions that the country has taken in the last five years -such as expanding the activities that must be reported in its movements of funds to prevent money laundering or modifying the regime of corporations and private foundations- this was not enough. In particular, the Creole politicking of the National Assembly unjustifiably delayed the approval of the law that criminalizes tax evasion in Panama, depriving the State of a solid argument against the FATF's questioning. The great challenge that the international community demands is now to implement an effective regulatory system and the realization that our justice system is capable of condemning those responsible for money laundering and tax evasion. The weakest links in the Panamanian institutional chain are, precisely, the regulatory entities and the courts of justice. The viability of the international financial center of Panama depends on our demonstrating that our country is capable of sanctioning the bad actors, who distort our economy and leave their mark on national politics. It may be thought that FATF pressures on Panama are unfair, given the efforts made to correct them. But that does not stop being obligations that we must fulfill - LA PRENSA, June 22

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