Alberto Diamond, Panama's corrupt, soon to be ex-Superintendent of Banking, will do most anything to help seize the wealth of foreign nationals who bank in Panama, but the Arthur Porter case has to be the worst case of avarice in Panama's long and sordid recent history of evil acts perpetrated by local banks, in coordination with government officials on the take.
Porter, a prominent Canadian businessman who is wanted by his country for white-collar crime, in a little matter of twenty two million dollars, some of which he deposited in Panamanian banks, has been in custody in Panama for close to two years, but the government keeps finding excuses to delay deporting him, as Canada has repeatedly requested. Why, you ask ? Because the banks that are holding his money covet it, and Sr. Diamond is assisting them by placing legal roadblocks in the way of the extradition process.
The sordid reason for the delay: Porter has cancer, and should he pass away while in custody in Panama, the banks where his funds are on deposit will most likely choose to retain them. Money unaccounted for in the Murcia case, funds ordered returned to a Nicaraguan national, by a court, but never repaid by Diamond, the Banistmo case, the list goes on and on. Cooperation between corrupt government officials, Panamanian banks, and the corrupt court system, have resulted in huge losses for foreign nationals, and there is generally no avenue for redress. Diamond has become wealthy as the result of his failure to charge anyone with money laundering, or cite the banks for taking client deposits.
Porter's wife has publicly stated that, should Porter die in custody in prison there, that she intends to hold the Government of Panama strictly liable. We hope that he survives his detention in Panama, and does ultimately get back to Canada, where facing justice, and the rule of law, is preferable to dying in a Latin American prison, so corrupt officials, and their banker supporters, can get rich.