Monday, April 4, 2016


Compliance officers at international banks, located in North America or in the European Union, should be on the alert for any attempts to transfers funds out of financial institutions located in the Republic of Panama today. The revelations, which are just now coming out, of the extent of the massive money laundering, orchestrated by the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, will force financial professionals to seek a safer haven for the dirty money of their clients.

Remember, the Mossack scandal includes not only organized crime money, but funds of corrupt government officials who took bribes & kickbacks, but also Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) who profited illegally, on behalf of their patrons. Any sizable transfer of dollars is now suspect, unless and until you have clear and convincing evidence that taxes have been paid upon those funds, and know who the beneficial owner is.

Rumors have already been circulating to the effect that Canadian banks are not accepting any funds originating in Panama. You can expect similar red-lining in other jurisdictions shortly. The compliance issue is simple: knowing about the Mossack Fonseca scandal at this point, are you really safe in accepting any substantial wire transfer from a Panamanian bank, even if it is from a known client ? Given that PEPs previously thought to be legitimate and law-abiding are now listed by major news media, who have access to the raw data, you cannot take the chance; rejecting any funds at this time is the prudent move.

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