The European Commission is expected to publish a revised vesion of its "Blacklist" of jurisdictions that are failing in their global anti-money laundering responsibilities, and therefore pose a financial risk to the Members of European Union. This action, seen by reliable sources authorized to review a draft of the document, is said to take place this Thursday, May 7, 2020.
Given Panama's totally unsatisfactory track record ( there are literally no arrests for money laundering or terrorist financing, and the country's banks are awash with Colombian Cartel narcoprofits, and Middle Eastern terrorist organization criminal proceeds being repatriated) the EU action is not unexpected. The Government of Panama is expected to respond strongly, as it has previously done in an effort to reverse the EU action.
Currently, the Coronavirus pandemic has turned the capital, Panama City, into a mostly lawless urban disaster, with major food and water shortages. Its tourist industry has collapsed, and the lack of international air travel has destroyed its lucrative foreign investment sector, and which whenever the offshore economy is restored may not return, due to the Blacklist status being imposed by the EU. If you are assigned to the calculation of Country Risk for Panama, it might be prudent to increase it at this time.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst