For those of your who are perplexed as to why Okke Ornstein, who had previously fled Panama to avoid serving prison time for three felony convictions, would have the temerity (or foolishness) to return to a country that was ready to imprison him, as soon as they could take him into custody ? Most career criminals (he has a $5m judgment filed against him in Panama, and one for $1m in the Netherlands) would not tempt the fates in that manner. So why did he do it ?
The answer is twofold:
First, he flew in with a legitimate passport, using an alias. Unfortunately, for Ornstein, Panama now has state-of-the-art electronic fingerprint reader technology at the airport, and his true identity was discovered. Perhaps Mr. Ornstein thought he could enter Panama, with another identity, unnoticed.
Second, he had to go to a country that one of his victims could not enter. Marc Harris, who was Ornstein's boss when he was the general manager at Harris' investment firm, alleges that Ornstein stole millions from him, and you know he wants it back. Panama is off limits to Harris, and Ornstein certainly knows that. Since he fears Mr. Harris, he returned to Panama, where Harris would most certainly be banned upon arrival.
We don't know precisely how many years Ornstein owes the criminal justice system in Panama; I show more than three years, but my records do not have details on his third Panamanian criminal conviction, or the sentence handed down in the Netherlands, in that case. We have also heard, from our Panama City sources, that it is thought that he will eventually be extradited to Canada. to face charges, to be filed, in that country.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant
Posted by Andrei Slavenkov - Netherlands