The Laundry Man by Kenneth Rijock ( Penguin/Random House UK)

Saturday, August 18, 2012


We are all familiar with the BMPE, where US Dollar drug profits are exchanged for Colombian Pesos in Panama, through a broker who matches up the traffickers with legitimate Colombian businessmen, who have Pesos, but need dollars, to purchase American manufactured goods. The traffickers end up with Pesos, so that they can invest their narco-profits inside Colombia.

There is a variation of this method; I will call it the Black Market Dollar Exchange. As you know, I an currently covering the billion dollar case of David Helmut Murcia Guzmán, the Colombian prepaid-card/Ponzi schemer, who placed his criminal proceeds (as well as drug profits, reportedly from Colombia and Mexico) into assets in Panama. Here is how it was done for him:

(1) With the yacht purchases, Murcia paid the dealers, who sold the vessels, in cash, smuggled in on fast boats from Colombia. The dealers then obtained financing from the manufacturers of the yachts' engines, giving back a lien on the completed yachts.

Then, using the loan proceeds (and NOT the dirty money they were paid), the dealer put down deposits , and progress payments, with the US manufacturers/builders.  The dirty money was deposited directly into the dealers' Panama bank accounts, at financial institutions where cash deposits are simply not questioned by compliance. The dealer eventually took delivery, and turned over the yachts to Murcia. The loan was paid off from the dealer's accounts. Nothing came from Murcia.

The boat manufacturer in the US had no issues, because the payments were made with funds borrowed from the engine manufacturer. Murcia this effectively laundered many millions through this method, which requires the cooperation of the yacht dealer.

(2) With the luxury automobiles,  the scheme was effectively the same. Murcia also used this method to purchase real estate. Here again, cooperating dealers, deceiving the sellers, are instrumental in ensuring that Murcia's cash prepayments was never disclosed.

So long as we have corrupt businessmen in Panama, who let abject greed rule their actions, dirty money will continue to be laundered in this manner, and turned into high-value assets, which can be sold outright, given as a gift to local Panama City politicians, to buy their loyalty, or safely kept in a remote location, all to further the ends of organised crime.

1 comment:

  1. President Porfirio Lobo Sosa
    Tegucigalpa, Honduras

    August 17, 2012

    Dear President Lobo:

    I am following up with this communication in good faith,  in the event that you  have not seen or received the open letter recently sent to you and others.  I write to you again for several reasons listed below, that are as vital to you and your government as they are to me and my associates in our quest for justice.

    1). Your esteem office appointed Dr. Alberto Castillo Hyde as a Pro Bono Diplomat to
    Panama.  Maybe Diplomat Hyde was willing to work pro Bono, since being a diplomat was a great cover to steal & move cash and drugs unfettered?

    2).  The rule of law questions the liability, morality, and legality of witnessing or being aware of a crime, and standing by idle and doing nothing?  His United States representative Herbert E. Caswell, signed an affidavit that the $1.5 Million theft by Dr. Hyde was premeditated. Of course Mr. Caswell was a motivated participant while also attempting to enrich himself.

    3).  Dr. Hyde was apprehended in both Panama and Mexico, attempting to smuggle large sums of undeclared cash through security. ( You need only to Google "Alberto Castillo Hyde" ) to learn about the obvious crimes committed during 2011. In addition to the $1.5 Million embezzled from my company.  Mr. President, was Dr. Hyde investigated for money laundering & Drugs?  

    4). On April 18, 2012, I met with Minister Counselor Norma Cerrato, at the Honduras Embassy in Washington D.C. I provided indisputable documentation of the $1.5 Million fraud by the appointed diplomat.  In addition, I was advised that Ambassador Hernandez , and the Minister of Foreign Affairs was briefed on the fraudulent "Maletinazo".  As of this date I have been ignored, and that doesn't please me at all.

    5). I have also contacted the Panamanian and Mexican Embassies in Washington D.C., since laws were broken in both countries, and there appears to be no interest in dealing with such a sensitive matter.  Mr. President, Ex-Pro Bono Hyde, obviously enjoyed special treatment, since he signed a ludicrous affidavit attesting to a $450,000 gift to the Honduran Government upon his arrest. If by some chance your government did receive the alleged gift from diplomat Hyde, it needs to be returned to my company pronto.  I question if he also shared his loot with  involved law enforcement in order for his release?

    Mr. President, I believe it is in the best interest of your country to deal with this matter expeditiously, by apprehending Alberto Castillo Hyde, and making him accountable for his crime. 100% proof of my allegations are available upon request, in addition to the obvious facts at hand.

    " The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword"


    Robert Shulman
    Managing Partner
    Sentinel Investment Group, Llc


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