GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA THREATENS TO PUT IN JAIL ALL BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF BEARER SHARE COMPANIES WHO ALLOWED THE COMPANIES TO EXPIRE AND DID NOT RENWEW!
In the Republic of Panama, by law only licensed attorneys can be corporate service providers. Annual corporation fees, which are necessary to keep a Panamanian company in good standing, represent a significant revenue stream for the Government of Panama. Unfortunately, the recent economic stagnation in Panama, resulting far fewer companies that were formed being kept open and active through filings and with the required fee payments, when compared to just a few years ago, has resulted in a significant decline in fees paid into Treasury accounts. New business in Panama has seriously tanked of late, and it has impacted not only the professionals, but now the government as well. Lawyers in Panama are starving and offices are being closed due to lack of any foreign business.
PANAMA IS ON THE VERGE OF TOTAL COLLAPSE!
Given that Panama, as an offshore financial centre a/k/a tax haven, where profits earned outside the Republic are not taxed, and onshore profits of clients abroad are claimed to be exempt from taxes, resulting in a zero taxation scheme, only receives income from its offshore companies if they continued to remit the payments necessary to stay legally alive, there is an existential issue.
The lawyers in Panama who have allowed corporations that they have previously formed to become defunct for nonpayment of annual fees, claim that new legislation providing for criminal penalties for failure to file and remit fees has reportedly been enacted. Given the the country's corporate service providers, the lawyers assert that they are, now risk arrest and prosecution, due to this extreme measure, what the effect the new law will have on the economy is not known, but since Panamanian lawyers are loath to advance fees for foreign clients, threatening them with jail could further plunge Panama into a major depression.
We also note that the lawyers in Panama claim that Beneficial Owners themselves also face criminal penalties for defaulting on annual payments on their corporations, but those are generally absentees not exposed to arrest within the Republic of Panama. It's the attorneys who are at risk. This is a ploy that lawyers are using to extort money from former clients who of course do not want to be sued or put in jail.
Observers of the Panama offshore scene have stated that the new so called legislation amounts to extortion, and is probably unconstitutional under Panamanian law, due to its punitive aspects. Whether there will be a court challenge, as such a case directly opposes the power structure, is doubtful.
No arrests have been reported yet on this extreme form of blackmail, however, we shall be closely monitoring the situation and measure and will update our readers when new information surfaces; Stay tuned!
* If your lawyer or law firm from Panama contacts you with this fairy tale; be advised that it is a fairy tale to blackmail with fear, because this is another manner of criminal fraud perpetrated by the lawyers.
MSNBC Special On The Republic of Panama https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v6o_MNzxHA&t=44s
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Intelligence Analyst