The fiscalia 8 sucks ass

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So, last Wednesday, the 3rd, we had yet another one of those audiencias where yours truly is being tried for crimes against the honor of some foreign crook who has made Panama his base of operations, with the prosecuting being done by the infamous fiscalia 8, the office within Panama's public ministry that is dedicated to this honor crap.

Monte Friesner and his wife, Tatiana Nazarova, were present, dressed as if going to an Albanian bank robbers convention. Below his white linen klepto-suit with Serbian war criminal tie, the serial fraud artist wore white clogs - we kid you not. Mrs. Nazarova had wrapped herself in a golden outfit that was maybe once fashionable in circles of Nicolae Ceaușescu but certainly not in 2012 Panama.

But worst of all was the prosecutor of the fiscalia 8. You should know, dear reader, that from the moment they accept a criminal complaint, these people have six months to investigate the alleged crime. So, what did they do in that time? Well, practically nothing.

They took the statements of Friesner and Nazarova. Then they did a whois search on our domain name - which takes about five minutes - and which they then tried to pass off as some big thing by calling it a "visual inspection". That was the full extend of their investigation!

Had they done a bit more of that visual inspecting, say, another 30 minutes or so, they would have discovered that Friesner has a criminal past with convictions for fraud, money laundering and whatnot, that he has been in jail, that in 2004 another one of his scams was closed down in Canada, and so on - all public information available on government websites.

Instead, these amateurs maintained at trial that calling Friesner a "fraud artist" is a crime against his honor - even though a US judge said exactly the same.

And that's not even the end of how these plonkers at the fiscalia 8 can't even investigate their own toenails. Remember that Friesner, in some sort of delusional attempt at role playing, assumed the identity of one Shanita Ramdin, sending your reporter emails accusing himself of being a gangster and his wife of being a prostitute? The fiscalia 8 has in its possession the evidence, notarized and all, that this was in fact Friesner himself, but they just never looked at it. To add insult to injury, the payasos at the fiscalia 8 are unaware that their own public ministry is handling two criminal cases against Friesner; one for mortgage fraud and one with the financial crimes unit for his shenanigans with Pronto Cash. The public ministry in Panama; a madhouse filled with ignorants whose left hands don't know what the right hands are doing - on those rare occasions that they're doing anything at all, that is.

The judge apparently smelled that something was off here, and decided not to rule immediately but have a look at the file first. The term for him to take a decision is 30 days, although I was assured that "sometimes it takes longer". And then? Well, we'll either be victorious or we will appeal, so that everybody can waste more time and resources on this idiotic case.

13 thoughts on “The fiscalia 8 sucks ass

  1. Okke,

    I spent 10 years in Panama trying to get paid for the business I did in my first 5 years. The “tribunales” were true madhouses of ineptitude and corruption. I left many “hipotecas” uncollected.

    Living in Panama was like a really bad marriage that beat me down so badly that I almost lost perspective. At one point I actually planned on killing some of the Panamanians who had ripped me off.

    Thankfully my girlfriend put the brakes on my “locura” and told me we must leave or she would leave me. I left kicking and screaming. Later I realized how close to madness I had reached.

    I still live in the developing world but have never encountered anywhere near the level of moral and professional rot that existed in Panama.

    I have always enjoyed your blog and felt a strong empathy at what you go through just writing the truth. Your investigations are fearless . Having been exposed to similar physical, emotional, administrative and judicial abuse I realize that you are obviously a very brave and committed person. But how do you stop yourself going off the deep end with the constant attacks on your dignity and as a result of witnessing constant abuse of the vast majority of good Panamanians by the psychopathic ruling classes?

    Have you never asked yourself if you are wasting your talent and energy uncovering yet deeper levels of shit in what is clearly one of the world’s deepest shitholes?

  2. Faustino

    I wish I could say it ain’t so but you describe it so well. It’s a cancer without cure that has been and is continuing to eat away at Panama. You need to look no further than the real estate developers of Panama City to see the dishonesty, false promises, lies, broken commitments and theft that the promoters extract from their clients and customers.

    They lie about completion times, they lie about amenities, they lie about the elevators, they lie about finishes, they lie about lobby furniture, they lie about security systems, they lie about increased costs, they lie about P.H. administration fee costs, they lie about financing being available, and countless other lies all to enrich themselves at the buyers expense and “of course” they lie to make the sale.

    They having laid all the lies to make the sales, they start stealing from the buyers little by little then advancing to big time theft. They steal the roof of your building for themselves, they steal the extra parking spaces from the buildings created from their manipulation of under-delivering an adequate amount of parking to the purchasers units after they agree to purchase but when the purchaser finds they need another parking space the promoter has one for $25,000 or they steal the visitor parking space from the P.H. and sell it all to another person with a large unit leaving the other owners with no visitor parking spaces.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s residential, commercial or office buildings the promoters from the Jewish community in Panama are very much all the same. Over promising, breaking promises, under delivering and taking what isn’t theirs. They advertising fancy buildings in their promotional brochures with hundreds or thousands of parking spaces for owners or visitors then they deliver a building and gut the roof, the visitor parking spaces and many of the owner parking so that they can sell them for ransom to their clients after the buildings are built.

    Then they deliver the buildings with no lobby furniture, no exercise equipment, no swimming pool, so magnetic looks, no CCTV security camera systems, undersized wiring & circut breakers, inadequate electrical and water distribution systems and cheap China quality of building materials and if you blink your eyes or complain the Panama real estate promoters with default you and keep your deposit. If you are considering purchasing real estate in Panama and find yourself setting at the table with one of these guys and their real estate salesperson accomplices get up from the table, grab your wallet and run for your life.

    The deck is stacked against you in buying real estate in Panama unless you are Jewish or street smart.

  3. Faustino and JJ, Panama is the Nigeria of Latin America. It doesn’t matter which government is in office, because they are just an extension of the business culture here. Most journalism and part of “civil society” is corrupted as well. I think it is like that because Panama is historically a riff-raff transit country where people come to make money and because of the US-Canal history.

    I keep my sanity by writing here about it, and by not doing any business in Panama. I don’t even have a bank account here. But more important is that I am lucky enough to regularly meet people who show me that it’s not rotten everywhere. For a radio documentary I am producing, I’ve enjoyed immensely meeting recently with the Ngobe people and their leaders, for example, who are mostly poor, proud and incorruptible and know how to win a fight. I’m doing a photography project in Panama City’s Calidonia area, where people are street smart, resilient, innovative – it’s a neighborhood where there’s still a sense of community, of being in it together, as opposed to the wealthier enclaves (see my site http://ornstein.org for more). I’ve recently done a bit of private fundraising for an orphanage just outside of the capital where the government dumps kids in what looks like a Rwanda refugee tent camp – a group of students has taken it upon them to fix the place up together with the tireless volunteers who run it. This I’m doing also as a photography book project.

    In other words, I try to engage and work with/for people whom I find interesting and inspiring – this sometimes includes business people as well by the way – even if that doesn’t offer much in terms of monetary rewards. For me it’s the only way to do something in this country that feels meaningful while avoiding the sleaziness and corruption.

    None of this means that I’ll stay in Panama forever though.

  4. Faustino,

    As you are. I am another witness that Panamas Public Ministry and Judical Organ are a criminal syndicate controlled by a organized criminals which are allowed to drag; from government, to government, to government its corruption of this countries institutions and use its resources for their organized criminal activities.

    I have 9 years waiting for an investigation of a criminal complaint for a blatant barefaced securitiers fraud and 9 years for the civil case to be heard. Meanwhile the culprits are accusing me with the forged and falsified corporate acts and counterfeit share certificates and I am the one that may be going to jail.

    Outrageous the extent of rot in this countires society.

  5. Okke,

    I see. It does make much more sense to do no business in Panama. I may have enjoyed Panama more if I had dedicated time to pursue more projects with more positive energy. I can only imagine how badly orphans in Panama are treated and how much good one could do to help their plight. I lived for 5 months in Calidonia and really enjoyed it. Lot’s of interesting characters.

  6. Sorry to put this off-topic, but the idea is to inform no?

    Today I went to Taboga with the ferry. I have a visitor who has never been to the beach and today is her birthday so.. The perfect gift we reckoned. The beach isn’t that spectacular, it’s a beach nevertheless.

    Arriving at “la Playita” the presence of 2 or 3 solders in desert outfit draw my attention. It’s not my first time to Taboga, and except on the island itself never saw police/soldiers during the trip. Full gear, straight from “Hurtlocker”. Entering the boat, I went to the top deck. I like to walk around and take pictures. I was surprised to see that everybody was sitting, with their swimming-vest on. Never seen that before. Like schoolboys in a classroom

    As the five of us entered I got approached by a soldier who asked me to sit down and put on a swimming vest. WTF..? I declined. First of all, I don’t like to sit down on these trips, second a swimming vest? With this heat? The sea as smooth as a mirror and the boat going maybe 3 miles an hour.. Try to take pictures with a vest on..

    I ignored the soldier and walked to the back of the deck, where i would have a nice view and the wind would cool me down during the trip. “Sir (in Spanish), here is a free seat.” “Well I’m happy for you!” “You need to put on your swimming vest” “I’m not going to! I’m three times world champion, I know how to swim!” Of course I’m not, but he really pissed me off with that patronizing attitude.
    He left, only to return with another soldier. “Sir, if you do not put on your vest, we can not leave. People looked at me with discontent, everybody seemed to feel that this was perfectly ok. Too avoid more delay, I took the vest and put it around my middle, so it wouldn’t bother me. Technically I had put on the vest. “Happy?” They killed me with their eyes, but they gave up. Too many witnesses I guess.

    The boat left… Halfway the trip, most people realized what it mend to wear a vest all the time in that heat, so they got rid of it as well and started to walk around too. The soldiers probably were enjoying the airco somewhere because I’ve not seen them again.

    I’m used to the drugs check in Taboga with the dog, which is hilarious of course. The only reason for this I can think of, is to show how “we” are fighting drugs. This time though, it too was performed in desert storm style. Soldiers screaming and swinging their baton. I was glad to see the astound faces of most of my colleague travelers. If I were a tourist, this would be the last time I visit this country. For the record, Taboga? Never again!

    It is funny and sad at the same time to see how little Panama understands tourism. Everything that used to be worthwhile to visit this country gets destroyed. Does Martinelli really think people come to see the Cinta Costera, el Tornillo, the metro and at the same time like to be harassed by his security force? Tourists with money are long gone. A friend of mine selling maps in the streets, gave up his business a year and half ago. No tourists! Just people who buy a package deal and do not really spend. It is easy to publish how tourism in Panama is growing, in the streets however there is no actual economic evidence.

    Maybe we’ll be seeing more Venezuelans soon, because of the election results there.. 😉

    • What can I say? This is, I guess, their idea of promoting tourism. I’ve ranted forever about how visitors go through all these passport and security checks when traveling to Panama, only to be met with corrupt cops at a checkpoint just outside the airport to check their papers again. Welcoming tourists with drug sniffing dogs on Taboga in the weekends must be another example of this policy – the only consequence being that now the drugs are brought in on weekdays, when the police is lying in their hammocks.

      This whole idea of increasing tourism to Taboga is a sort of a joke anyway – the ferries can only carry so many people and the beaches are small. Also, if you have to choose between $14 for a ferry ticket with drug dogs and dock nazis and $4 for a bus ticket to Gorgona without any further ado and more flexibility, the choice seems pretty simple. Taboga would be worth it if it was a bit more high end. Having fried fish in a garbage dump setting that Popeye fries in recycled gearbox oil is not my idea of high end.

  7. I have read various manuals in Spanish and English regarding licensing and operation of vessels in Panama by the ACP & AMP. Without spending days reading them again I can only say this.

    Technically the vests need to be category 1 USCG and or SOLAS approved. These are not water ski recreational types that won’t float a person unconscious face up. The newest regulations of SOLAS, USCG and the IMO also require all vests to have reflective tape approved by SOLAS, an audible device usually a whistle and a light.

    If you will notice most Panamanian passenger boat operators use these recreational class 2 or 3 types and or the no classification China models.

    In no manual does it say the operator or passengers must wear a vest although this can be company policy such as crew boats transporting workers etc just like any other safety worksite item.

    Summing it up nobody complies with nothing Panama including their own boats nor do they know.

    Second although I could be wrong to my knowledge it is the same international norm that a proper sized life (adult/child) vest be available for every crew and passenger wearing them is of course wise if in bad weather or a non / poor swimmer in a panga.

    They are so F***ked up maritime wise here it is amazing “they just don’t get it never will”

    I suggest they board each shrimp boat, passenger liner etc and in the wannabe army uniforms force everyone at gunpoint to put on their life jackets.

    Dump asses cant even read their own forms for when they random board you if outside the canal area you have to show them everything almost fill it out for them.

  8. You are right of course, there is nothing high end about Taboga. Then again that’s not what I’m looking for. Miami, Barcelona, Dubai, Monaco, Cancun… been there, done that.
    I like walking around the island, as an amateur photographer I enjoy how pictures come together in the narrow streets, with the colorful houses and people. Besides, for someone not familiar with the sea like my friend, the trip by boat should be the cherry on top.

    The island is such is not bad at all, if only they would clean up the place and put their guard dogs to actual police work. There are a few acceptable restaurants, but really I couldn’t care less. The few hours spend there, I eat what I bring and have a coke and a smile.

    The capacity of the boats is indeed a problem at times. I guess some smart guy with a lancha could make good money playing taxi. At normal speed the trip is just a few minutes. The five of us totaled 60 bucks in the ferry. Charging about 15 bucks for a return ticket per lancha this should make a lucrative business. Maybe something for our friend Friesner.. 😉
    Then again this is Panama, so this route will be protected and one only has to sit and wait before someone comes with the “bill”.

    I like the Caribean beaches better, near Viento Frio, Portobelo, Nombre de Dios. My recent experience in Taboga makes me forget about the 2 hour trip. Yes there are checkpoints as well, but usually the police there is relaxed and easy going. It helps of course that I do understand the checkpoints in that area.

    I don’t know jack about swimming vests. I do know that they should be used in case of emergency. I left school a long time ago, so whenever someone orders me to do this or that (without apparent reason) I get rebellious. Make me sign a waver and the responsibility is mine. Everybody happy! BTW, on our way back to Panama, no soldiers no swimming vests. So what was the point again?

  9. Same here in the interior they only perform their random Nazi papers or drivers license check points everyone in town knows what is going on and how out of control the crime is the only ones that don’t are apparently the police and or the mayor who won’t let them enforce any brach of the law.

    I wouldn’t call the police for anything short of a homicide of an immediate family member and that would be just to cover my ass if they were to suspect me as being a suspect because I didn’t call these inept, uneducated, corrupt morons.

  10. I have more than once experienced how some guy from the Autoridad Maritima wouldn’t let the fast ferry leave to Taboga from the Balboa Yacht Club until everybody was wearing a vest – while at the same time not paying any attention to the fact that the cap of the fuel tank was missing and the smell of gasoline was wafting all over the boat. These people are just incompetent fools.

  11. And in a year from now they’ll be sending the maritime expert back to his farm to milk his three cows, while the new party in power names the local taxi driver to his post.

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