7 helicopters of the US Southern Command are assisting in providing medicine, health care, humanatarian aid and building materials in Darién Province. A week-long mission will consist of the transfer of construction materials to make improvements to education and security infrastructures, and medical supplies to address the health of the inhabitants of this province bordering Colombia, and through which tens of thousands of migrants pass.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is to hear the case of Abdul Waked Fares and his billion dollar claim against the Bank Nacional de Panama over the loss of the (very up-market) Soho Mall in downtown Panama City. In 2016, the US authorities alleged that Nidal Waked and other members of his powerful and well-connected family in Panama were among “the world’s most significant drug money launderers and criminal facilitators”, with clients ranging from Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel to Colombia’s FARC rebels. However, while no links to laundering drug money were ever made clear, the OFAC designation wreaked havoc on the family. Many businesses were affected, including the Soho Mall, and the excellent, long-established La Estrella de Panama newspaper, ownership of which was changed to end the effect of OFAC sanctions.

Note that nevertheless the OFAC sanctions lists continue to include the “WAKED MONEY LAUNDERING ORGANIZATION” and various members of the family –

1 MAY 2023


On 1 May, OFAC announced an agreement with Poloniex, a Delaware company previously doing business as Poloniex Inc, in which the company agreed to remit $7,591,630 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of sanctions against Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria.  Between January 2014 and November 2019, the Poloniex trading platform allowed customers apparently located in sanctioned jurisdictions to engage in online digital asset-related transactions — consisting of trades, deposits, and withdrawals.