Friday 11th August 2023

August 10, 2023


Corruption will not be excluded from the catalog of crimes to which the asset forfeiture law would be applicable, if it is finally approved by the National Assembly (AN).

This was confirmed by the Ministry of Public Security, which held a press conference this Thursday to discuss the bill that will soon be brought to the AN, after its endorsement by the Cabinet Council.

The secretary general of the Ministry of Security, Jonathan Riggs, specified that the extinction of domain will be applicable to the conducts typified in Law 121 of 2013, on organized crime: money laundering; crimes related to drugs and chemical substances; human trafficking, human, organ and arms trafficking; terrorism and terrorist financing; sexual exploitation and pornography of minors; kidnapping and extortion; manslaughter and serious injury; theft and theft of vehicles; genetic manipulation; piracy; financial crimes; illicit association; counterfeiting of coins, securities and public documents; credit card crimes; hitmen, and crimes against public administration, against intellectual property, against computer security, against the environment and against historical heritage.

Riggs assured that the technical committee made up of officials from the Public Ministry, the Judiciary, the National Directorate of Assets and the Ministry of Security have made an effort so that the new legislation adapts to the current needs of prosecution of organized crime.

The Minister of Security, Juan Pino, expressed that the adoption of a law to attack the financial muscle of organized crime is urgent, since there are indications that it has increased its actions in the country.

Pino stressed the need to attack front men used to legitimize assets from criminal activities.

This is the second time that the Executive presents to the Assembly a bill to adopt the domain extinction jurisdiction of the country.

The surgeon Walter Kravcio , whose attentions to Ricardo Martinelli have been used by the former president’s defense to try to obstruct the progress of his judicial processes, faces an investigation for the alleged commission of the crimes of qualified fraud and money laundering, to the detriment of the Treasury of the United States of America.

Kravcio, Javier Alvarado, also a neurosurgeon, and the lawyer Marianela Martínez de Alvarado were arrested last Wednesday and the events under investigation occurred between 2016 and 2021. The three were taken this Thursday, handcuffed, to a hearing before a guarantee judge . , which started at 1:00 p.m.

During the hearing, it was reported that those investigated provided different medical care and other procedures in Panama to a group of military veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DAV), through the Foreign Medical Program (PME), managing a series of claims and using various schemes, such as charging for duplicate or unnecessary services or products through medical billing and false claims, some causing an injury exceeding $100 thousand.

To carry out these “deceptions”, Kravcio and the Alvarado spouses would have used several companies, such as Paincare Inc., Hemodinámica de Colón, SA, Neurophys Inc. and Neuro Test Services Corp. , to receive and transfer checks in the banking system. The signatories and final beneficiaries of these accounts were the three detainees, so, according to the prosecution, they must have known that they were participating in an operation to cover up and disguise the illegitimate use of that money.

The investigation is carried out by the Second Prosecutor for Crimes against Organized Crime .

Kravcio and the Alvarados were arrested last Wednesday during police operations at their residences. The three live in the Fairway neighborhood of Santa María .

This process is not be related to Martinelli.

Among the candidates for deputy from the Liberal Republican Political Movement (Molirena) is Alexis Jiménez Oliva, one of those who blocked the passage of the caravan of trucks with food in the area near Viguí, between Chiriquí and Veraguas, in the middle of the days of protest that the country experienced in July 2022.

Jiménez Oliva will run for deputy for circuit 8-5 , which includes the townships of Chilibre, Las Cumbres, Alcalde Díaz, Ernesto Córdoba Campos and Caimitillo, in the capital. This is stated in the Electoral Bulletin 5430-G that contains part of the electoral offer of Molirena.

In videos that circulated on social networks in those days, Jiménez shouted: “Listen Saúl Méndez and Genaro López and the people of Suntracs, here I have your convoy detained for being sold. I tell all the Panamanian people that the convoy that was going to Panama is not going to go there or here. Here we have him detained and we are not going to let him pass ”.

Later the National Police issued a notice to locate him. He was accused of the alleged commission of the crime against the administration of justice in the modality of apology for the crime. It was delivered on July 22, 2022 at the headquarters of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation. “I am turning myself in as a politically persecuted man,” he yelled at the media. A judge ordered his arrest.

Everything is ready for Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares to be sworn in as substitute deputies of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) , as can be seen in the agenda of the session scheduled for August 11 , at the Panama branch.

In 13 days, the children of former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal (2009-2014) must go to trial for the Blue Apple case . And in 49 days is the Odebrecht bribery trial , where his father and 33 other people are also indicted. Both processes are for alleged money laundering, a crime for which Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique were already imprisoned in the United States, after confessing to a New York judge that they used the financial system of that country to launder at least $28 million in bribes. from Odebrecht.

If the Martinelli Linares brothers acquire the status of Central American parliamentarians, the procedural rupture could be decreed and, if so, their cases would be sent to the Supreme Court of Justice , which is the entity that is constitutionally in charge of investigating and prosecuting the deputies (principal and alternate) of the National Assembly and Parlacen.

The president of Parlacen, PRD member Amado Cerrud , confirmed to La Prensa that the Martinelli Linares requested to be sworn in.

“They are substitute deputies and enjoy all the guarantees established by the electoral norm in Panama to be recognized as substitute deputies. They were denied the swearing in months ago, because they lacked freedom, due to legal issues that they maintained, but at this time there is no element that could be sustained to prevent their swearing in,” said Cerrud.

However, Cerrud adds that the issue must still be analyzed by the Credentials Commission and then by the Parlacen board of directors.

“We have a bench meeting on Friday, at noon. They have three days since they sent the request and we send it to Guatemala. The internal regulations establish the procedures for the swearing in of deputies, which can take place in two ways: through the plenary or through the national bench. We, depending on the legal opinion and internal regulations, have to proceed. If the regulation establishes that there is no type of impediment that allows the recognition of your prerogative, you have to take an oath ”, he remarked.

The low-cost airline, Wingo begins this Friday, August 11, 2023, direct flights between Panama City and the city of David in Chiriquí, as the airline’s first domestic route using a local operating license.

Flights to David from the Panamanian capital will be twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays, operated from the Panama Pacifico International Airport.

Eduardo Lombana, CEO of Wingo, said that they hope to promote the arrival of international tourists to Panama, connecting with David’s domestic route, which offers beach, mountain, ecotourism, coffee routes, among other attractions.

“We are going to offer 36,000 seats on this route between Panama City and David and reach more than 30,000 passengers a year,” said the CEO of the airline.

Lombana reported that in 2022 in all Wingo air operations they transported 2 million passengers and the goal for 2023 is to exceed 3 million passengers transported.

“We are very excited to continue in our growth process and to take the service and the Wingo model, successfully tested in Colombia, to other latitudes in Latin America. With the emergence of Wingo Panama, we already have two airlines that operate under the Wingo brand in the region,” said Eduardo Lombana, CEO of Wingo.

He announced that from Panama they are evaluating opening routes to other countries in Central America, the Caribbean and South America to the extent that they expand the operational capacity with more aircraft. They currently operate with 9 737-800 aircraft.

Lombana reported that the airline Wingo, with a Colombian operating certificate, already offers its operation in Panama to seven international destinations: Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bogotá, Medellín and Cali, in Colombia, as well as Havana, Cuba, and San José in Costa Rica.


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