Panama and Money Laundering

The Financial Action Group of Latin America recognizes the efforts that are being made to classify evasion as a criminal offense, but once again points out that the main threat is the inflow of financial flows linked to illicit activities committed abroad.

Monday, February 5, 2018

From the report "Mutual Evaluation of Panama - January 2018": 

Executive Summary

This report provides a summary of the existing AML / CFT measures in the Republic of Panama (hereinafter referred to as Panama) at the date of the on-site visit carried out on May 15 to 26, 2017.  It analyzes the level of compliance with the 40 FATF Recommendations and the level of effectiveness of the AML / CFT system in Panama, and offers recommendations on how the system can be strengthened.   

Main findings 
• Panama has carried out an NRA, in which it has identified that its main risks in terms of LA derives from illicit financial flows from abroad that end up in Panama associated with drug trafficking, other crimes related to organized crime, contraband and crimes related to foreign trade; In regards to internal threats, the crimes of drug trafficking, corruption, financial crimes and crimes against intellectual and industrial property, including contraband, were identified as the main ones.

See full report (in Spanish).

More on this topic

Money Laundering in Central America

March 2017

The housing market, casinos, concert halls, and the livestock sector are all used to launder money in Central American countries.

Excerpted from the report "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes" by the  US State Department:

Costa Rica: Bank Controls Cross Reference Tax Information

July 2016

Banks must report to the Institute on Drugs any financial transactions that do not correspond to a tax return.

A decree by the Solis administration amends the regulations of Act 8204 against drug trafficking, related activities, money laundering, financing of terrorism and organized crime. 

Money Laundering and Financial Crimes in Central America

September 2015

Of the countries on the isthmus Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama stand out as countries that are causing "great concern" in this matter.

From the report by the US State Department: "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume II - Money Laundering and Financial Crimes" March 2015:

Panama: Tax Evasion is Not Money Laundering

March 2015

Despite being a FATF recommendation, reforms to the law on prevention of money laundering being prepared by the government will not include the definition of tax evasion as a criminal offense.

The latest update to the standard recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was carried out in 2012 and considers "...

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