The United States will support the creation of a specialized group to dismantle money laundering networks in Panama

Photo: Courtesy of the United States Embassy in Panama.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

The United States will support the creation of a special force to strengthen Panama's capabilities in the fight against money laundering and corruption., confirmed on Monday the diplomatic headquarters of the North American country, after the visit of the American national security adviser, Robert O’Brien.

"The task force will focus on dismantling money laundering networks and strengthening capacities to investigate and prosecute corruption and money laundering cases.", According to the official statement.

The group's training and consulting will be in charge of personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and will be destined to prosecutors, agents of security forces and regulatory agencies of Panama, said the Embassy.

The announcement took place after the meeting between the counselor O'Brien with the Panamanian president, Laurentino Cortizo during which they discussed security cooperation issues, economic growth, fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, the health crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the creation of the joint task force against money laundering.

O'Brien's visit is part of President Donald Trump's commitment to work with Panama to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, stated the American Embassy.

The senior US official also delivered to Panama 50 mechanical ventilators that will be distributed in public hospitals, a total of 250 that will be donated to the country.

The United States also donated 6,600 test kits and other supplies that Panama needs to face the coronavirus outbreak.

Panama with 4 million inhabitants is the Central American country with the highest number of infections with 82,543 accumulated cases, of which 1,788 died until 17 August, according to the Ministry of Health.

“This virus has affected us and this was a small contribution to help our friends in Panama, we are happy that the first 50 (fans) they're here, There's others 200 on my way", O’Brien said after the delivery ceremony cited by the United States Embassy.

"There have also been other $4 millions [of dollars] in humanitarian support to help fight COVID-19, from the United States to Panama ", added the statement translated into Spanish.

The Presidency of the Republic of Panama said in a subsequent statement that investment opportunities were also explored during O'Brien's visit., including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in terms of cooperation for the financing of infrastructure projects through the energy program “América Crece”.

Photo: Courtesy of the United States Embassy in Panama.
Photo: Courtesy of the United States Embassy in Panama.