Guillermo Ferrufino, the Minister of Social Development under the previous Martinelli government, is under criminal investigation, by the Anti-corruption Prosecutor, for unjust enrichment, as the country's sweeping corruption probe continues to expand. Ferrufino, who reportedly has retained some of Panama's most prominent attorneys to defend him, is said to the owner and resident of a luxury home, located at Pyne Hills Albrook Field, which has a value that far exceeds his declared income and assets; His official salary was listed as $7000.
A formal hearing has been set in the case for November 11. Virtually all the ministers of former President Ricardo Martinelli, who are no longer being seen in public, have been linked to the Petaquilla Mining Ltd. stock scandal. Martinelli and his ministers allegedly earned millions of dollars, by trading upon inside information not available to the public. Additionally, they are believed to have artificially inflated the price of the stock through statements made by cooperating co-conspirators.
Securities regulators in British Columbia are reportedly conducting an investigation into Internet postings that contained misstatements of material fact, by purported Petaquilla shareholders, who claimed to have earned huge paper profits, due to their stock holdings. In truth and in fact, the parties who posed the information, which resulted in an increase in the price of the stock, did not own any Petaquilla stock. The Martinelli group then took obscene profits from the sale of their holdings to unwary investors, who were victims of securities fraud. Though those postings were made outside of Canada, securities laws there were broken, and criminal acts occurred, which may be charged, meaning that extradition to Canada are a distinct possibility.