Insight Crime reported on 23rd February that although Panamanian authorities have made progress in combating money laundering, the country’s laws continue to make it an attractive destination to conceal revenue from illegal activities.  The report is based on the results of an investigation conducted by the Latin America FATF (Grupo de Acción Financiera de Latinoamérica – GAFILAT) after a visit to Panama in May 2017.  GAFILAT concluded that Panama is more vulnerable to foreign illicit revenue streams than domestic ones. The group also found that drug trafficking, contraband and other illicit activities related to organised crime provide key sources of illicit revenue entering the country’s financial system.  One of the biggest challenge that authorities face is that tax crimes are not classified as predicate offenses for money laundering, which affects the prevention and investigation of the crime because it inhibits the authorities’ ability to track and seize illicit revenue.  The most vulnerable sectors to money laundering are free trade zones, real estate and banking and corporate services, and the evidence of effectiveness are scarce.  The report found that 730,000 Panamanian businesses considered to be at “high risk” of participating in money laundering, supervision of these entities is low, and that most of them are still active.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: