On 13 July, a series of media article highlighted comments made by a panel at the Concordia Summit of the Americas in Miami on the “Regional Dialogue on Free Trade Zones (Free Zones), Trade-Based Money Laundering and Port Security”. It referred to a “problem” in Latin America and directly mentioned Panama and the Colon Free Zone, where “about 8,000 million cigarettes” arrive every year, mainly from Asia and China – said to be roughly the total amount of all illicit cigarettes consumed in Mexico each year. At the event, tobacco multinational Phillip Morris International (PMI) described Panama as the “world champion of cigarette trafficking” and asked the Panamanian authorities to enforce the laws.
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