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Sunday, July 22 2018 @ 04:34 AM EDT

Arrest made in Panama slaying of Ottawa businessman

Expat TalesA one-time family friend has been arrested in the slaying of a former Ottawa businessman whose body was found inside a discarded suitcase in Panama’s oldest national park.

The decomposed body of Ed Moynan, 68, the longtime owner of Centennial Glass, was found in March 2013, four months after he disappeared from his retirement home in the coastal city of Coronado, Panama.

Ludwig Vico Pereira, 56, a Swiss national, was arrested late last week by police in Coronado; he had been the subject of an Interpol arrest warrant.

Moynan’s daughter, Sandra Moynan-Longworth, reacted to news of the arrest on her Facebook page: “They finally arrested the main suspect in my father’s murder over a year-and-a-half later … finally some justice.”

In an interview, Moynan-Longworth told the Citizen that Pereira once lived in the same Coronado neighbourhood as her parents and frequently dined at their home. Pereira — known to his friends as Lewis — even spent Christmas with the Moynan family.

“They were very, very close,” said Moynan-Longworth. “But that friendship was just one big façade.”

Moynan-Longworth said her father was shot in the head before being packed into a suitcase. She doesn’t believe Pereira pulled the trigger but that he was likely part of a larger criminal conspiracy. She said more arrests are expected.

The family, she added, has resolved to apply public pressure to see that justice is done.

“We’re sick of being scared,” she said. “When dad disappeared for those first four months, we didn’t know if we were waiting for a ransom demand or what we were dealing with. But now we’re not scared. Now we’re just angry.”

The family doesn’t know what motivated the killers, Moynan-Longworth said, but she suspects it had something to do with her father’s purchase of several pieces of land in Panama. He recognized the country was about to boom, she said, and invested in local real estate soon after retiring.

“I guess he must have gotten in somebody’s way,” she said.

Panama is known as a major transit point for drugs headed to the U.S. and has long been used by cartels to launder their money.

Born and raised on a farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Ed Moynan went into business after high school, first as a ski manufacturer and then, in Ottawa, as the longtime owner of Centennial Glass.

He moved to Panama three years ago with his wife, Louise, after they retired. He had fallen in love with the country while visiting his sister Ruth, who had moved there years earlier.

Moynan disappeared from his home in a gated Panama community on Nov. 8, 2012, while his wife was visiting family in Ottawa. She returned to their home in Coronado days later to find her husband’s glasses broken on the floor and some furniture scratched and out of place. His wallet, identification and laptop were also found inside the house. Moynan and his rental car — a Kia Rio used while his own was at the garage — were gone.

At first, police treated it as a simple missing persons case, but it later turned into a criminal investigation.

The family has hired three different lawyers since Moynan first went missing in order to pressure the police to advance the case.

Moynan’s abandoned rental car was found in January 2013 at a local shopping mall parking lot. But it wasn’t until March 1, 2013, that some workers at Altos de Campana National Park discovered human remains stuffed inside a suitcase left along the roadside.

The park, which offers dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean from its hills, is about an hour’s drive from Coronado.

The body was conclusively identified as Moynan’s through DNA testing.

A recent report on an English-language Panamanian website, Playacommunity.com, suggests authorities believe the arrested suspect did not act alone and that three or four other people could have been involved in Moynan’s abduction and killing, including a deported Canadian.

There is still no official information about a motive for the killing, but it is believed that Moynan had a significant amount of cash on hand. According to Don Winner, editor of the website Panama-Guide.com, Moynan purchased two plane tickets on his credit card for a neighbour, who paid him $1,500 in cash, on the day that he disappeared. (Ottawa Citizen)

Editor's Comment: Correct. Moynan had purchased the plane ticket for his friend and neighbor, Ludwig Vico Pereira. It was one of those things where Moynan had a credit card and he used it to purchase the plane ticket online. Pereira then paid him the $1,500 cash for the plane ticket. As a matter of fact, on the day Moynan disappeared, Pereira flew back to Europe using that same plane ticket.

You can easily make the argument Pereira flew to Europe in order to establish an alibi for himself, especially if he had paid someone to kill Moynan and he knew when it was going to take place. And then Pereira did a relatively ballsy thing - he returned to Panama and went about his life as if nothing had happened.

I've been following this case for a very long time, and haven't been able to write much about it, waiting for an arrest to take place. I suspect there will be a couple of more people arrested, those who actually pulled the trigger and disposed to Moynan's body.

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