The Waked Case In Perspective

The identification of Grupo Waked in a money laundering network could result in significant changes in the representations of brands marketed in the country.

Monday, May 9, 2016

An article on cites Jorge Garcia Icaza, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, who emphasized that restraint should excerised when dealing with the case in order to minimize damage which it is estimated could be caused, especially in relation to jobs in the companies under question.

"... The Waked family is considered to be one of the most powerful economic groups in the Panamanian business world. In the province of Colón, specifically in the free zone they are almost ubiquitous. The purchase of the iconic chain Felix B. Maduro made them more visible in retail from 2015. And the recent construction of the Soho Mall placed them at the apex of the world of luxury brands. "

Regarding the impact on the case on Panama's business environment, Garcia Icaza said that "... Given the involvement of this group in many economic sectors, [you might think] there will be a reshuffle in the representation of brands and businesses in the country. "

"... Surely we must find alternatives to continue providing the various services that this group of companies offer. "

Visa International Service Association, operator of Visa cards, have now terminated its contracts with companies linked to Grupo Waked and those included in Clinton list, which include Felix B.Maduro and those belonging to Wisa Group, such as La Riviera. The same will occur with other issuers of debit and credit cards, such as Credomatic.

See full article on (In Spanish)

More on this topic

Soho Mall Could Also Be Put in Trust

June 2016

The solution accepted by OFAC so that companies in the Felix B. Maduro Group can continue to operate could be extended to Waked's assets in Soho Mall.

In an unprecedented measure, the Bureau of Foreign Assets (OFAC) of the US Treasury has authorized the delivery of corporate control of Felix B.

Felix B. Maduro Companies Can Be Sold

June 2016

In order help keep the chain stores operating, the Office of Foreign Assets Control has authorized the breakdown of links to the ownership and control of Wisa Group.

The aim of these measures is to "protect the workforce", at Felix B. Maduro, Importadora Maduro, S.A.

More Waked Group Businesses Closed

May 2016

In Uruguay, where the group operated three duty-free shops, authorities have filed a complaint for alleged money laundering, and Nicaragua has closed a store that operated in Penas Blancas.

In Nicaragua the duty free shop La Riviera which operated at the border post of Peñas Blancas has been closed by order of the customs authorities of that country.

How to Keep Waked Businesses Running

May 2016

A ministerial group has been created to find solutions for keeping these sources of employment going and the involvement of state banks has not been ruled out.

A commission at the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Commerce has been announced, which will include representation of the Groups Wisa and Vida Panama in order to address saving the thousands of jobs at risk.