Tuesday 5th December 2023

December 4, 2023


A complaint for alleged tax fraud was filed against the company Minera Panamá this Monday, December 4, 2023.

The complaint was presented by the former director of the General Directorate of Revenue (DGI), Publio Cortés, before the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

Cortés requests that the complaint be accepted and an exhaustive tax accounting audit of the company be ordered “immediately” for the fiscal years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

He also requested that charges of tax fraud be filed against the company and the amount affected be determined. Likewise, that the “corresponding actions” be presented to the Public Ministry.

In his complaint, Cortés recalled that in 2017 the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional the mining concession established by Law 9 of 1997, a decision that became enforceable and in full force at the beginning of 2018.

He indicated that this decision was “fully confirmed” in the last paragraph of page 184 of the recent ruling of the full Court that declared Law 406 of 2023, which renewed the contract between Minera Panamá and the State, unconstitutional.

He indicated that, in summary, the plenary session said that “everyone knows” that the mining operation continued after the beginning of 2018. He alleged that, according to the Tax Code, the economic activity carried out by the denounced company is an “activity taxed by the Tax Regarding Income”, because the income is derived from mining carried out on real estate in Panamanian territory.

The Ministry of Labor (Mitradel) said that the request made by the Minera Panamá company , in which it requests the suspension of employment contracts of approximately 7 thousand workers, does not in itself imply “any authorization.”

That is, you must still comply with the procedures established by the Labor Code , which entails the intervention of all parties involved in the process.

Last week, the Minera Panamá company reported that it asked Mitradel to rule soon on the request to suspend more than 7,000 labor contracts.

Minera Panamá signed a contract with the State to exploit copper in Donoso, province of Colón, but the agreement was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Justice last Tuesday, November 28.

This Monday, December 4, in another statement, the company announced that after the Court’s ruling the situation of the collaborators has changed and “new questions have arisen, which require clarification from the Government.”

For this reason, it signed an agreement with the majority union to open a special voluntary retirement program for those workers who wish to request it. “This mutual agreement includes the payment of the money that is legally owed to them,” he said.

The company also took the opportunity to ask the Government to establish a roadmap on labor issues.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici) assured this Monday, December 4, that they have not signed any legal document titled “2023 concession agreement” as the Minera Panamá company alleged last week after announcing the start of arbitration.

“We would like to clarify that neither the Government of the Republic of Panama nor the Ministry of Commerce and Industries have signed any legal document at the beginning of this year” regarding mining concessions, highlights Minister Jorge Rivera Staff in a response note to the Attorney General of Panama. the Administration, Rigoberto González.

The minister added that this means that there is no legal document in this regard.

Last Friday, Attorney General González wrote to Mici (Minera Panamá’s counterpart in the concession contract that violated 25 articles of the Constitution) to ask what the aforementioned “concession agreement” consisted of and asked that they provide him with a copy of it. if it exists.

On November 28, the Supreme Court of Justice declared Law 406 of 2023 unconstitutional, which adopted the contract with Minera Panamá – a subsidiary of the Canadian First Quantum Minerals (FQM) – and warned that, from that moment on, the company would not I had a concession.

On the other hand, the Canadian Government said this Monday that it respects the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama.

When asked by EFE , a spokesperson for the Canadian Ministry of International Trade said that “Canada respects the announced verdict of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama and awaits more details about the decision.”

The government spokesperson also indicated that both Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Mary Ng, and other senior Canadian officials are in contact with Panamanian authorities about the case.

“We are closely following the negotiations between the Government of Panama and First Quantum Minerals,” he added.

FQM, which is based in Vancouver and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has not responded to EFE ‘s requests and has simply indicated in a statement published on November 28 that it is reviewing the court’s decision.

The criminal complaint filed by businessmen against 21 people who maintained road blockades in the month of November in the Tierras Altas district, Chiriquí, was admitted by the Public Ministry (MP).

This was reported by the Tierras Altas Chamber of Tourism through a statement. He indicated that the appeal was admitted on November 27.

“This step is crucial in our continued effort to safeguard the interests of our community and ensure that acts that have seriously affected our district do not go unpunished,” the union noted.

He noted that his initiative to seek justice should not be interpreted “as an act of revenge.”

“On the contrary, it is a step towards preventing events as regrettable as those that occurred, which have deeply marked our district, province and country, from being repeated in the future,” he highlighted.

Dangelo Dayan Ramírez Ramea probably never imagined that his registration at a gym in the city of Cali, Colombia, would automatically put him in the hands of the security authorities of the neighboring country.

In Colombia they stealthily followed his steps and achieved their goal the day Ramírez Ramea used his fingerprint to enter the gym. That trail was key to his capture, according to the newspaper El País , from Cali, Colombia, in its edition of this Monday, December 4.

A spokesperson for the Criminal Investigation Directorate and Interpol of the Colombian Police explained to La Prensa that at the gym he impersonated a man named Víctor Hugo. Nothing strange, since Ramírez Ramea moved in Colombia with several identities. In fact, he managed to “buy” a Colombian nationality. His name was Juan Pablo Benitez Aragón , and he claimed to have been born on November 2, 1970 in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia.

The Criminal Investigation Directorate followed him through closed circuit television in Cali, Colombia, as he had a specific routine to go to the gym and that is how the entity established the movements of the vehicle in which he moved in Cali.

“The location of this person in the gym is achieved, taking into account that when he enters he puts his finger on enrollment (digital identifier) ​​and the name of the person he was impersonating appeared on the gym screen (…)”, he assured. one of the investigators of the case.

According to Brigadier José Luis Ramírez Hinestroza , Ramírez Ramea had been hiding for three years. He traveled periodically to the cities of Cartagena, Barranquilla, Medellín and Calí, with the purpose of marketing high-end vehicles, “to give legal appearance to money from drug trafficking.”

In Panama, the captured person was on the list of the most wanted. He is accused of allegedly committing crimes related to drugs and money laundering.

Ramírez, to whom authorities attribute the leadership of the Calor Calor gang, was linked to a network dedicated to drug trafficking through the use of artisanal fishing boats, a group that was dismantled in October 2022, through the operation called Tocumen.

In 2016, the liquidated Seventh Criminal Court, headed by then-Judge Felipe Fuentes, freed him from money laundering charges, but the Second Court of Justice revoked that decision and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

After his capture in Cali, Ramírez Ramea was transferred to Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, where he was placed at the disposal of the competent authority, waiting for the corresponding procedures to be completed for his extradition to Panama, the Colombian police reported. .


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