The Panamanian supervisory authority responsible for non-financial firms has acted to review the business of Mossack Fonseca as well as that of another dozen local law firms, in the context of a newly-introduced, anti-money laundering bill. According to declarations by Carlamara Sanchez, the newly-appointed head of the Office for the Supervision and Regulation of non-Financial Firms, “we have come to an understanding on a new action plan that is currently being developed and has a firm implementation deadline”. Ms. Sanchez, who replaced Francisco Bustamante last month, went on to add that “while we cannot release confidential information regarding the results of firm-specific investigations, I can say that we will act against firms that do not comply with the action plan”.
Ms. Sanchez also explained that the purpose of the current review is to ensure that approximately 30 thousand firms across 16 industries are in compliance with 2 bills: Law 23, known as the anti-money- laundering bill; and Law 2, which stipulates “know you clients” measures. “Both bills have a common denominator: the prevention of money laundering activities; both aim to ensure that firms do carry out due diligence on their clients and that they identify final beneficiaries in an appropriate manner”, she elucidated.
The Office for the Supervision and Regulation of non-Financial Firms was launched in April 2015, as part of a series of measures requested by the Financial Action Task Force (Gafi, in Spanish).
It was reported that the Parliament of Ecuador has issued a subpoena to the country’s Attorney General, Galo Chiriboga, as well as to the National Intelligence Director, Rommy Vallejo, as part of the investigation into the country’s involvement in the Panama Papers scandal. Messrs. Chiriboga and Vallejo’s names have shown up in documents leaked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, in relation to wealth held at offshore companies.