This project has had 15 % normal sales completed since its inception in 2006/2007. The rest represents bulk deals with people associated with Merchbanc in Spain and four lawfirms in Panama creating anonymous holding vehicles for unknown owners. The project remains over 50 % unsold. It is hard to reach any conclusion but that substantial amount of money laundering is taking place.
Panama's intelligence gathering messed up with imaginary plots, a paranoid president, a spy chief scheming to get the Israelis on board and attempts to protect the government against investigations into drug trafficking.
A newly released cable from the US embassy in Panama shows how the US sees efforts to clean up the Tocumen international airport smugglers den as vital to secure the US border against illegal immigration, and lists the Motta family, the Waked family and tourism minister Shamah as suspects.
Minister of Security Raul Mulino, also known as the "Butcher of Bocas", gifted with a bottomless imagination where it comes to promoting our glorious nation, has announced plans to hermetically seal the border with Costa Rica.
After persistent accusations of money laundering, narco campaign donations and ties with drug trafficking, president Martinelli is now being implicated in arms trafficking through yet another family member, who is Panama's ambassador in Italy.
The picture of Salomon Shamah, who was born Colombian and naturalized Panamanian and is now minister of tourism and a key figure in Panama's relations with Israel, is part of documentation revealed by Colombian sources in which also other members of Martinelli's government are exposed. It is not clear when Colombia's security service DAS pinpointed Shamah as part of the trafficking network that supplied Colombia's various armed groups with weapons.
While Martinelli continues his Noriegaesque responses to narco-allegations, there is more and more speculation about him leaving office - voluntarily or otherwise. Varela appears to be warming up already, and clearly receives better treatment from the US than his boss. And, why isn't Martinelli making his campaign finances public if he has nothing to hide?
Panamanians get their news abroad as local media cover up Martinelli's ties with money laundering and drug trafficking. And, why doesn't Martinelli make his campaign finances public if there's nothing to hide?