To illustrate how desperate the Government of Panama is to cover its massive budgetary shortfall, a businessman, who was neither an officer nor director of a company, was arrested in Colombia, and summarily shipped off to Panama, where he faces charges that he is personally responsible for the non-payment of salaries to employees and corporate contribute contribution to Social Security taxes, of a company he is affiliated with.
An INTERPOL Red Notice was reportedly issued against the defendant, in a related fraud action, and he was flown to Panama, without any formal extradition proceedings, with the first violation of Panama law. Second, he cannot be held personally liable for corporate obligations, including taxes, as he was neither an officer, nor a director. This case should serve as a warning to any businessman operating a company in the Republic of Panama; the government will bend, or even break, the law when it comes to collecting revenue; Please govern yourselves accordingly.
If the increase of capital flight from Panama, and a steep decline in the number of new North American expats taking residence, were both not signs that Panama has fallen out of favor with foreign nationals, these new efforts to illegally wring money from businessmen will certainly serve as an abject warning to businessmen to stay out of Panama, lest they also be arrested without legal justification. Look for additional governmental efforts to collect revenue, through any means available.