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Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:32 am EDT

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Two Men Were Killed In Paitilla

Crime & PunishmentTwo men were killed on Saturday in the middle of a confusing event in Paitilla when several subjects were trying to kidnap an important businessman.

In the middle of the incident there was a shoot-out and a security guard in the area was killed, as well as one of the alleged kidnappers.

Units from the National Police are at the crime scene conducting the investigations and waiting for the Public Ministry to remove the bodies. (Dia A Dia)

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Over 100 Thefts And Robberies Have Been Reported In Boquete So Far This Year

Crime & PunishmentDuring the first half of 2013, a total of 114 thefts and robberies have been reported in Boquete, a situation that raises concern among the citizens of this area, which is why the National Police has now assigned two vehicles to monitor the area and many police checkpoints and operations to reduce crime rates.

Miguel Castillo, resident in Boquete, said the situation in the area has changed a lot due to the increase of the population, because before there were only 11 thousand inhabitants and now there are over 20 thousand.

According to the mayor of this district, Manolo Ruiz, the citizens must raise awareness about security issues because sometimes they become victims of crimes after leaving doors and windows open. “The biggest issue is theft, this goes for residences owned by locals and foreigners as well,” he said.

Ruiz said he will continue applying the “carrot law” in Boquete to stop crimes. Due to this, from Monday to Thursday bars and supermarkets cannot sell alcohol after midnight.

On the other hand, the commissioner of the Police Zone in Chiriqui, Julio Lasso, said they will strengthen security and surveillance in the district starting immediately. (Prensa)

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Panamanian Football Player Was Killed At La Gran Estacion

Crime & PunishmentMiguel Lasso, national futsal team member, was shot several times in the parking lot of a nightclub located in the shopping center "La Gran Estación," in Pueblo Nuevo.

The motive for this murder is still unknown.

The National Police started an operation where they arrested the suspects of this event. (Critica)

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Seldon Lady Leaves Panama And Returns To The U.S.

Crime & PunishmentThe CIA agent from Milan Robert Seldon Lady, who was allegedly arrested in Panama and is required by the Italian justice, left the Central American country and is back in the United States, said the spokesman of the U.S. State Department, Marie Harf.

"I know he is on his way or already in the United States,” said Harf in their daily press conference.

She decided not to give any further details related to Lady’s case, who is sentenced in Italy for kidnapping Abu Omar in the capital of Lombard in 2003.

He also avoided specifying whether the U.S. is in contact with the Italian authorities on the case.

According to Italian media, the Minister of Justice of Italy, Anna Maria Cancellieri, has signed for the provisional arrest of Seldon Lady and he now has two months to request extradition.

Panama’s police authorities were consulted and confirmed on Thursday that they have no information or knowledge about the arrest of Seldon Lady in their country.

Out of the 26 CIA agents convicted in Italy for the kidnapping of Abu Omar, Lady has an international arrest order.

Abu Omar was detained as he was leaving his home by agents of the CIA and taken to Egypt, where he was imprisoned and tortured, according to his report from 2007.

This was the first case from the "CIA flights" tried in Europe and despite the Letters of Request sent to the U.S. by the Italian Justice, the intelligence service agents from the country never showed up to testify. (Panama America)

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Prosecutor Talks About The Threats Made By Pellegrini

Crime & PunishmentThe Public Prosecutor revealed details about the investigation of Financial Pacific to TVN, among these details are accusations of extortion from one of the main subjects involved in the case, Mayte Pellegrini; however, her lawyer denies this fact.

Meanwhile, the Thirteenth Prosecutor of Circuit, Julio Laffaurie, revealed that Mayte Pellegrini threatened him through her former lawyer Mauricio Zeballos if they wouldn’t change the interim measures applied in her case.

During the exclusive interview, the Attorney General of the Nation also revealed they are currently investigating a call from Pellegrini threatening the former Attorney General and current Judge, José Ayú Prado.

The Prosecutor said the crime for stealing 18 million dollars was already credited, however he abstained himself from saying whether or not Pellegrini pleaded guilty.

Both the Attorney General and the Prosecutor talked about the assets seized from Pellegrini, and according to them she could not justify this.

Meanwhile, Zulay Rodríguez, Pellegrini’s lawyer, filed a complaint before the Public Prosecutor due to violation of her client’s rights, which includes not being able to present evidence; however, according to the Prosecutor, Pellegrini extended her statement 7 times, and at that time she could have presented her evidence. (TVN)

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Cabinet Council Approves Amendment To The Crimina Code To Punish False Alarms

Crime & PunishmentThe Cabinet Council endorsed today, Tuesday, the draft law No. 058-13, which adds a provision to the Criminal Code in order to punish false alarms that disrupt public order.

Members of the Cabinet authorized the Minister of Public Safety, through the draft Cabinet Resolution No. 125-13, to present the bill to the National Assembly.

The bill explains that currently, threats or false alarms are being experienced, with the purpose of causing fear in the airports, seaports and land terminals, causing deployment of the security agencies, which come to assist such emergencies, causing loss of time and money, as well as traumatizing the population.

However, this situation is not regulated in the Criminal Code in force in Panama. "This bill seeks to establish under the Criminal Code this type of conduct to punish it in an exemplary manner, because currently the courts can’t proceed against those actively trying to cause panic, terror or disturbance in the public order."

The bill states that "whoever tries to disturb public peace by causing panic, terror or fear in the population or any segment thereof, by providing false information about the existence of radioactive material, gun, fire, explosive, biological or toxic substance or any other means of mass destruction or element that has that potential, against the living, public services, property or things, despite not being involved in its execution, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to one year." (Prensa)

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Pellegrini: "I Have The Truth On My Side"

Crime & PunishmentMayte Pellegrini, the main suspect for the financial fraud to the detriment of Financial Pacific (FP), regretted the country had a Government that “does whatever they want.”

"They [the government] think they have me in their hands, but I have the truth on my side,” said Pellegrini during a statement she gave to TVN.

Pellegrini has said the government should stop putting their hands in the trial conducted against her by the Second Criminal Court. The president [Ricardo Martinelli] is putting his hands in the record, she said.

But she said the Panamanian people are not stupid, blind, deaf, or mute; and in the end, they will understand everything.

THREATS

Pellegrini said she is the only woman in prison for this case. However, she said her mother and stepfather are under house arrest. The rest have received other sentences.

She also said she has been threatened, as well as several members of her family: "I have been threatened several times," she said.

IN PRISON

Pellegrini said she has been at the Woman’s Rehabilitation Center since March 1st. She shares the same prison cell with three other women.

She also said she has no right to go to the backyard or library, and she has to ask for permission to go to the doctor, she said. “Apparently, they don’t want me to have contact with anyone. Why? I don’t know,” she said.

She thanked the media, because she said they do a better job than the Prosecutors and the Judges. “I am not fighting for myself but for the truth,” she stated. (Prensa)

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Fisherman Was Killed By Two Subjects In A Speedboat

Crime & PunishmentThis time, the shores of the city were the scene of the crime for a fisherman, who was shot by unknown individuals who are currently fugitive.

The fisherman Orlando Alexis Chir, 37, was killed when he was intercepted by two hired hitmen, who shot him in the chest from a speedboat. Orlando was in a small boat he used to fish.

The homicide was registered at 8:30 p.m. last Saturday by the shore known as La Playita, located in Casco Viejo, San Felipe.

The fisherman was taken at full speed to the pier in San Felipe in the boat by his friend, who came out unharmed after the attack.

After giving notice of the event, the injured was taken in an ambulance from the National Police at 8:50 p.m. to the Emergency Room from the Santo Tomás Hospital, where, despite the efforts of the doctors, he died five minutes after he arrived.

The survivor said he was fishing at the area with Orlando, when they were surprised by unknown individuals who were aboard a speedboat, who shot Orlando in the dark and then they left the scene.

After the report, three patrol boats of the National Air Service (Senan) conducted a major operation in the Bay of Panama and surrounding areas, however, there were no reported arrests.

The victim lived in Boca La Caja, San Francisco.

The investigations are in progress and are being handled by the Homicide Unit of the Auxiliary Prosecutor of the Republic. The attackers took advantage of the dark to commit the murder.

So far, the motive of the murder of the fisherman has not been established.

Assaults in the Bay of Panama have been reported by armed subjects against fishermen. (Critica)

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The Public Prosecutor Is Investigating The Deaths Of Two Agents From The National Police

Crime & PunishmentAfter the death of two agents of the National Police, the agency informed this Saturday, July 6, that the case is being investigated by officers of the Public Ministry (MP).

According to the reports of the National Police, a second lieutenant and a sergeant died after receiving multiple gunshot wounds in the San Miguel Arcangel hospital, in San Miguelito.

In the incident both the second lieutenant, Alberto Murillo, and the sargent Aracelis Aranda were killed.

At the moment, the Lt. Melquiades Rodriguez is kept under custody by the MP for this case. However, it was not clear what the relationship between these three agents is.

Aranda, according to the National Police, was currently on duty at the hospital, while Murillo and Rodriguez had their day off.

The National Police this morning regretted the loss of these agents and reminded everyone that the investigations are handled by the Public Prosecutor (MP), “therefore, we will be fully cooperative in anything these agencies require to resolve this case." (Prensa)

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A Subject Was Killed And An SPI Agent Was Shot At PAN Warehouse

Crime & PunishmentA subject was killed and an agent from the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) was injured in the middle of an incident at the warehouse of the National Assistance Program (PAN), located at the industrial area of Costa del Este.

According to initial reports, two men who were traveling in a taxi tried to break in the warehouses, when an SPI unit guarding the place caught them.

The agent shot one of the subjects and killed him, while the other one took off running but was later caught after one of the security alarms was activated.

The SPI agent was shot in the shoulder. The weapon has not been found yet. (Critica)

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Evidence From The Homicide Case Of Aira Guerra Is Missing

Crime & PunishmentThe chips from several cell phones used as evidence in the homicide case of Aira Guerra have disappeared from the Public Ministry.

Therefore, the prosecutor Luis Martinez made a report about the event and sent it to the Attorney General of the Republic, Ana Belfon.

A total of seven cell phone SIM cards were lost, according to a judicial source aware of this case.

ARREST WARRANT IS CONFIRMED

Meanwhile, the Superior Court of the Third Judicial District of Chiriqui confirmed the arrest warrant against Edwin Oldemar Avila, Alvaro Samudio’s boyfriend (Rolando Samudio’s uncle, who is kept under custody at the public jail of David).

Avila requested bail, but the Court in response said the First Superior Court of Chiriqui’s decision is legal.

Avila said he was innocent and he never met Guerra, stating he is only involved because he is Alvaro Samudio’s boyfriend. (Prensa)

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The Suspects In The Homicide Of The Former Governor Of Cocle Were Sentenced To 41 Years In Prison

Crime & PunishmentThe five suspects in the case of aggravated homicide of the Governor Darío Fernández were sentenced by the Court of Cocle to 41, 38 and 33 years in prison, and were also charged for illicit association for criminal purposes.

These are the higher penalties ever achieved by the Public Ministry within the new Adversarial Criminal Justice System, which has been applied in the Second Judicial District since September 2, 2011.

According to the judgment No.14-2013, issued by the Court of Cocle, through a reading of the judgment, the sentences were issued as follows: 41 years and 3 months of prison for Julian Alfredo Nouvet, 38 years of prison for Joel Antonio Guerra and Miguel Angel Arner García and 33 years of prison for Deshy Quiros and Mayra Hall Conte.

In addition, they were also banned from carrying weapons for 5 years after serving their time in prison.

On May 29, the Trial Court convicted five of the six defendants with charges of aggravated murder and illicit association for criminal purposes and absolved Carlos Bárcenas.

These sentences were set after the Trial Court carried out an analysis of all the judgments, by individualizing each of the defendants and their connection to both crimes.

The trial took around four weeks, and from the Public Ministry the fiscals Roberto Moreno, Leonardo Paul, David Mendoza and Alexis Medina were present through the entire procedure, who were working together with a team of investigators, psychologists and assistants. (Critica)

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Wild Bill Is Going To Testify About Aira Guerra's Murder

Crime & PunishmentCustodians from the public jail of David took William Dathan Holbert, a.k.a. Wild Bill, to the First Superior Prosecutor’s Office to testify about the murder of Aira Guerra.

Meanwhile, the lawyers Franklin Reyes and Jose Herrera asked the Superior Court of the Third Judicial District for a preventive bail release to prevent Alvaro Samudio’s boyfriend (Rolando Samudio’s uncle), Edwin Avila from being arrested for the same case.

Claudia Alvarado Soto, Holbert's lawyer, confirmed his client’s citation and said it is based on a testimony from another inmate, who said Holbert heard the way Rolando Samudio described how he killed Guerra.

"My client is going to deny these facts, considering he never heard this conversation," said Alvarado de Soto. (Prensa)

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Spain Wants Panama To Extradite A Man Wanted For Fraud

Crime & PunishmentThe Spanish government approved during a meeting the extradition to Panama of the Spanish citizen Faustino Zurbano Aristimuño, who was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for several crimes against the Spanish Treasury.

The Spanish Executive Branch agreed to proceed with the extradition request based on three applications from different courts of Zaragoza (east), two for compliance of his sentence in prison, of a total of four years and nine months for six crimes against the Public Treasury and one for his prosecution.

Regarding the judgments, a court is sentencing him to prison for tax offenses from 1999, and another one sentenced him to 3 years and 9 months in prison for five crimes of the same nature.

In 1999, Aristimuño covered up earnings from the limited partnership he was running, through false invoices for a total of 320,282.38 euros.

The Spanish citizen was also convicted for not paying the VAT during 2001 and 2002, of $181,358.24 euros ($238,540 USD) and $336,286.19 euros ($442,317 USD) respectively.

He also made a total of three frauds in the IRPF during 2000 (759,084.34 euros), 2001 (517,879.98 euros) and 2002 (846,665.90 euros). (Prensa)

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Gunfire Was Exchanged Between Two Rival Gangs in Punta Paitilla

Crime & PunishmentTwo rival gangs exchanged gunfire this afternoon, Friday, June 21, near the Union Club in Punta Paitilla.

According to preliminary reports from the National Police, after the event, it was reported that one of the gang members was killed. This person was driving a white vehicle, and he was from the neighborhood El Chorrillo.

They exchanged at least 35 shots, according to the authorities. The shooters, according to preliminary versions, were traveling by motorcycle.

Police units are at the place while the judicial authorities have already started the investigation.

The names of the gangs involved in this shooting are unknown. (Prensa)

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Two Highly Dangerous Subjects Were Arrested in Bocas Del Toro

Crime & PunishmentTwo dangerous subjects were arrested by the authorities in Bocas del Toro.

On Sunday, June 3, during early hours of the morning, these 2 subjects and another one who is currently a fugitive, broke in a house located in Las Tablas, Changuinola, where they seriously injured the owner, they beat up a 17 year-old girl, and stabbed a 12-year old child in the arm.

These two subjects have been identified by other victims, which is currently being investigated by the authorities. (TVN)

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Child Pornography Was Found in Samudio's Computer

Crime & PunishmentThe lawyer of the plaintiff in the trial for the murder of Aira Guadalupe Guerra said this Wednesday that Alvaro Samudio’s (who recently turned himself in) computer in the Public Ministry had child pornography, a compromising video of a lawyer and other personal pictures from officials of the Public Ministry in which they appear hanging out in different locations.

Vega also said he will request the Attorney Luis Martinez, to obtain all the evidence found in Samudio’s computer to investigate him for child pornography and embezzlement for using computers from the Public Ministry for his personal use.

The evidence was found during the raid conducted on his computer as part of the investigation process of the death of Aira Guerra, who was murdered on November 30 and her body was found in Bagala, Boqueron. (Critica)

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Alvaro Samudio Turned Himself in

Crime & PunishmentAlvaro Samudio, who has been a fugitive for almost a month after an arrest warrant was issued against him by the First Superior Prosecutor’s Office of Chiriqui for being a suspect in the murder of the young college student, Aira Guadalupe Guerra, finally turned himself in this afternoon.

Samudio, who seemed nervous when he arrived at the Public Ministry, was holding a Bible and said he was innocent of the death of Aira Guadalupe Guerra.

"I would never stain my hands with blood, I am totally innocent, the Public Prosecutor is accusing me of something I have not done,” explained the former chief of experts from the Public Ministry in Chiriqui.

Roberto Murga Torraza said they take the defense of Alvaro Samudio from that moment and this proves he is innocence because he approached the authorities by his own.

The girl’s body was found on December 3, 2012, by the main road of Bagala, in Boqueron, Chiriqui. (Dia A Dia)

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Edilberto Moreno is Arrested At His Residence As A Suspect Of A Homicide

Crime & PunishmentEdilberto Moreno, owner of Sandi Cars was arrested at his residence at noon by units from the department of homicides of the Public Ministry and taken to the headquarters of this institution.

Moreno, who left his home handcuffed and escorted by units of the Police Investigation Department, was taken to the jail of the Public Ministry for interrogation.

Moreno’s arrest was ordered because he could not prove through documents who was driving the white Land Cruiser between November 30 and December 3. The authorities were able to find DNA of the deceased in the trunk of this car.

Silverio Guerra is also arrested because he is the owner of the vehicle, and he assures he purchased it on January 26, 2013.

Currently, Rolando Samudio and Silverio Guerra are arrested in the prison of David during the process of this investigation. At the time, Álvaro Samudio remains fugitive. (Dia A Dia)

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Prisoner Escapes The Santo Tomas Hospital

Crime & PunishmentA dangerous criminal who was being treated in the emergency room at the Santo Tomás Hospital escaped from the facilities.

His name is Manuel Canovia, who was recently arrested for being involved in an assault.

The subject had five bullet wounds and is being processed at La Joya prison. (TVN)

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The National Police Arrested A Costa Rican Wanted By The Interpol

Crime & PunishmentAgents from the National Police, through surveillance and investigations, arrested a Costa Rican in San Pablo, David.

Police officials reported the suspect will be handed over to the authorities in Costa Rica in Paso Canoa.

Mayor Rodolfo Jiménez from the National Police in Chiriqui confirmed he was arrested during Wednesday afternoon.

The Costa Rican is wanted for money laundering and drug trafficking in the Republic of Costa Rica. (Prensa)

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Aguadulce is Turning into A Dangerous And Violent City

Crime & PunishmentViolence takes over the streets of the city of Aguadulce. Murders, assaults and shootings between rival gangs of young people are registered constantly, maintaining the population alarmed. The citizens request the authorities to intervene and control this social problem.

In less than 15 days there have been several homicides. One of these events was the murder of a young newspaper vendor who was shot dead in the city. Days later, on Friday, June 7, a 54 year-old man, dedicated to the business of purchasing gold, was also shot to death.

Until then, all these cases were involved with common crimes and gang wars, and many of the citizens could even see young people carrying guns around. However, on Sunday, two young men between 19 and 20 years old, on bicycles and with their faces covered, started shooting at a pickup driven by Jorge Herrera, president of the Association of Municipalities of Panama and representative of Los Barrios Unidos, while he was carrying a group of young people who participated in a sporting event in the neighborhood of Los Marineros.

Due this incident, Rafael Estevez is still in the hospital of Aguadulce after he was hit by a bullet in one hand. Fortunately, the mayor Herrera came out unharmed. The Public Ministry is conducting the investigations to find those responsible for this assault.

CRIME IS GROWING

Julio Botello, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Aguadulce and Nata, complained about the surge in violence in Cocle, which has been increasing for over two years, with many shootings and robberies in the areas of Rio Hato , Anton and Aguadulce, as well as other horrible crimes such as the murder of the former governor of the province, Darío Fernández Jaén and the businessman Paul Carrizo Arango, both in Penonomé.

"Business owners are terrified about this situation, to the point they are thinking about installing more surveillance cameras and getting together with the National Police to start with the program “Vigilant Merchants” he said.

To Botello, one of the most serious problems in Aguadulce is family disruption, for which there are no programs directed by the government or the authorities to focus on resolving the issue.

So far in 2013 in the province of Cocle there have been 13 homicides, out of which 6 took place in Aguadulce. (Prensa)

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Two Panamanians Were Arrested For Possession Of Firearm And Rape

Crime & PunishmentTwo Panamanians were arrested this weekend by units of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) of the National Police.

The first arrest occurred Saturday on the main road of Don Bosco, San Miguelito, where judicial investigators arrested 30 year old Gabriel Francisco Fajardo, who was sentenced to four years in prison for the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Meanwhile, a 42 year old was detained by capture units of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ), holding remand order for the crime of aggravated rape, to the detriment of a citizen. (Mi Diario)

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Interpol Captures Ecuadorian Wanted For Fraud

Crime & PunishmentThe Ecuadorian, Boris David López Mendoza, 25 years old, was captured in the capital of panama, after being wanted for committing 29 counts of fraud in Ecuador and credit card cloning in Panama.

López Mendoza, who was in the country illegally, was caught on Friday June 7th 2013 by Interpol units while leaving a hotel located in Albrook.

According to preliminary investigations abroad is also required by the Panamanian authorities after the alleged cloning of a credit card to the detriment of a client of the hotel where he worked.

So far in 2013, the Panama Interpol Office has arrested 22 foreigners applied internationally. (TVN)

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors - June 5th Meeting at Ranchos las Toros

Crime & PunishmentBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - You have probably heard by now there was another (second) violent assault and robbery at the Ranchos Los Toros restaurant in San Carlos. In response, the community organized another meeting to address issues of crime and violence, and the need for a response by the Panamanian government. I received the following this morning via email from someone who attended the meeting;

"I attending a meeting at the Ranchos las Toros restaurant held to address the rising crime in the greater Coronado community. It was stressed that this group wants to support the local police and work to supplement their resources by placing pressure on government officials. With the turn out tonight, I believe it definitely has the ear of the government.

If I understood correctly, attendees included the Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Commissioner of Tourist Police, Assistant District Attorney from the Attorney General’s Office, The Mayor of San Carlos, multiple high level police and legal personnel.

Other speakers included Roberto Chocolate of www.retirementdetective.com, a representative from the Gorgona Vigilantes Group, Mark from the Boquette crime stoppers group, and a detective from that group that has been investigating the recent Ranchos las Toros robbery. The event was covered by the press including a TV camera crew.

They pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism spent $50M to promote the safety of Panama; they do not want to jeopardize that investment.

The group is developing a database of crimes to present to officials accurate figures of the crime in the area. Reporting a crime was covered and emphasized that if it isn’t reported, it makes the area crime appear less than it is and cannot be solved. Anyone that has been the victim of a crime is encouraged to contact Roberto Chocolate to add to the statistics collected.

Proof that the government is taking this seriously was the announcement of two new Designated Prosecutors that will be in San Carlos and Chame to expedite search warrants and local investigations. Many of the police are now learning English. Three more police cars, totaling six, and some of the new police academy graduates will be assigned to San Carlos. It was pointed out that San Carlos isn’t a sleepy fishing village anymore; it’s another Coronado, surrounded by many expensive resorts and gated developments.

Another project the group hopes of achieve is a dispatch service using a database of local citizens. If you need help, you call the dispatcher and say you are number XXX and need the police/ambulance/fire department. The dispatcher notifies the proper authorities giving them directions to your house so you aren’t struggling to explain in Spanish. This service was started in Boquettte and with other efforts of that group, they reported the crime rate decreased 90%.

The group also has a Reward and Investigation Fund (RIF) that assists police in solving crimes leading to the prosecution of those criminals. A wanted poster with a reward still is an effective tool in fighting crime. They can also file civil lawsuits against the criminals which give them access to all of the reports and court documents, and freezes the assets of the criminals. All these projects require capital and donations can be given through Roberto Chocolate listed above."

Editor's Comment: Hopefully the government of Panama and the National Police, in conjunction with the prosecutors of the Public Ministry, will get serious about both preventing crime, and catching those who have targeted the members of the English speaking expatriate community in Panama. It's good to see the residents of these areas banding together, sharing ideas, and comparing experiences, and working towards a long term strategic solution. I would encourage the members of these communities to keep working, and strengthening their bonds, ties, and contacts with the Panamanian authorities - because that's where the real solution lies. It all comes down to assets (people, cars, radios) and resources (money) the government of Panama can use - if they choose to - in order to improve security and reduce crime.

My observation upon reading the results of this meeting is that it sounds a whole lot like the last meeting. Lots of people were there. The government made promises, but nothing really tangible actually happened, and the second attack against the Rancho Los Toros was not prevented. Will the third attack be prevented? Will those responsible be caught and brought to justice? That remains to be seen. There's always hope.

I would also like to make a recommendation. As this process moves forward, the members of the English speaking community of expatriates should ignore the inevitable crazed rantings of the most vocal "Don Winner hater" (whose name and website I refuse to mention). He always responds with illogical, insane, and emotionally charged vitriol whenever the community comes together in a positive fashion, in an attempt to improve personal security and fight crime. His father committed suicide with a shotgun when he was a child, so he describes anyone who recommends using a firearm for home defense as a "gun nut." That same idiot said I was supposedly selling "stun guns" or some other such nonsense at the last meeting. He's simply crazy - and his agenda takes precedence over everything else. Just ignore him and go about the important business of improving your levels of personal security, working within the legal framework provided by the law, in conjunction with local law enforcement and government personnel. Best of luck to you all.

Copyright 2013 Panama-Guide.com.

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Customs in Panama Seized Approximately $200,000 in Less Than 24 Hours

Crime & PunishmentCustoms officials from the Tocumen International Airport in Panama seized 170,346 dollars in less than 24 hours from a Panamanian and an Ecuadorian who arrived at the airport separately, according to the National Customs Authority (ANA).

In the first case, the inspectors retained $155,226 from a Panamanian who arrived to the country from the Dominican Republic and offered $5,000 to the officials as hush money, according to the statement from ANA.

The money withheld from Panamanian, unidentified, was found in a false bottom of one of his bags he passed his luggage through the scanner.

In another similar case, ANA officials from the airport of Tocumen seized $15,120 from an Ecuadorian who was coming from his country, and was hiding the undeclared money in a backpack and a suitcase.

Panamanian law requires that all travelers entering the country must declare any amount exceeding $10,000 in cash or securities and failure to do so may result in the seizure of the money and in customs penalties. (Panama America)

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Two Panamanians And A Costa Rican Detained For Trafficking Asians

Crime & PunishmentThe Prosecutor's Office initiated the investigation against a Costa Rican citizen and two Panamanians, for trafficking nine Asians who entered through Guabito Panama, Bocas del Toro and were stopped in the post Guabalá by Integrated Control in the Tolé district when they noticed the Panamanian visas were falsified.

The Costa Rican and Panamanian are detained at the Public Prosecutor in David.

The Asians were transferred today from the National Police Headquarters by the National Migration to Panama City for deportation to Costa Rica. (Panama America)

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Investigation On The Murder Of College Student In David Continues

Crime & PunishmentPolice last night collected more evidence in the home of Álvaro Samudio, as part of their investigation in the December murder of college student, Aira Isabel Guadalupe Guerra.

The search began at 7:30 pm. Wednesday and took more than four hours.

Prosecutor, Luis Martínez, participated in the search. So far, the police have identified three suspects: Rolando Samudio (the boyfriend of the student), his uncle, Álvaro Samudio and Silverio Guerra Zapata, in whose car, traces of the victim's blood was found.

Police said traces of the victim's blood were also found in the residence they searched through last night. (Prensa)

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Auxiliary Fiscal Office Investigates Scammers

Crime & PunishmentThe Auxiliary Fiscal Office of the Republic has open investigations to locate the responsible of a network of scammers, who were operating from the Public Prison in David.

They found in their cells the cell phones and chips related to the phone calls through which they managed to rip off several businessmen, and these detainees might be transferred to Panama for a deeper investigation.

The Auxiliary Fiscal Office of the Republic raided the Public Prison in David, as part of the investigation conducted regarding the members of a network dedicated to the massive fraud on businessmen and merchants in the country.

Marcelino Aguilar Aizpurúa, Assistant Prosecutor of the Republic, said the raid was conducted as a follow up of the ten investigations on the scams. They have been able to determine many of the phone calls come from the Public Prison of David.

Aguilar said these scams have been going on for about two months, in which they talk about selling pieces of land, cars and other assets, using the names of some of the businessmen in the country. (TVN)

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9 Illegal Immigrants Caught In Chiriquí

Crime & PunishmentNine Asian with fake passports were arrested in the Guabala Comprehensive Control post in the province of Chiriquí, when they were moving to Panama City in bus from Bocas del Toro, driven by two Panamanian and a guide from Costa Rica.

The two Panamanians and the Costa Rican were arrested by the Panamanian authorities, for the alleged crime of illegal immigrants.

Asians are: six women and three men, of which there are three children, two women and a man.

The two Panamanians, Asian and the Costa Rican are still being held at the headquarters of the National Police in David and will be sent to immigration authorities as soon as possible. (Dia A Dia)

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