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The President of the Republic of Panama, His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela, UNODC and the UAF commemorate the National Day for the Prevention of Money Laundering (October 29)

On 28 October,  a symposium was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN), the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF), the Superintendence of Banks (SP), the Superintendence of Insurances and Reinsurances, the Superintendence of the Stock Market Panama (SMV)), the Intendance for the Supervision and Regulation of Non Financial Entities, the Panamanian Autonomous Cooperative Institute (IPACOOP), the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP),as well as the Banking Association of Panama (ABP).

The participants were welcomed by the Honourable Humberto Brid, Director of the UAF; Dr. Amado de Andres, Regional Representative of UNODC and H.E. Eyda Varela de Chichilla, Deputy Minister of Finance. The opening was followed by a discussion on Panama's priorities in the fight against money laundering, through a board presided over by Dr. Amado de Andrés and composed by the four (4) national Superintendents; Honorable Marelissa Quintero, Honorable Carlamara Sánchez, Ricardo Fernandez and Honorable Honorable José Riesen.

Preventing and combating money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have been visibly priority issues for Panama in recent years. Evidence of this fact, are the resources invested in the supervisory bodies and the adoption of a regulatory framework in accordance to international standards, which allowed the country to leave the gray list in early 2016.

This output was followed by a series of scandals affecting Panama's image worldwide, but at the same time, provide an opportunity to strengthen the implementation of its legislation with specific tools, and to improve global communications channels to speed international cooperation and asset recovery, key pillars in the fight against money laundering.

In its role as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) precisely promotes the "follow the money" strategy to bring transnational illicit businesses to bankruptcy and dismantle organized crime groups.
In this regard, UNODC recognizes that Panama has led efforts to comply with international standards set by the United Nations instruments and ratified by the State.

The President of the Republic, His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela, closed the event by accepting the challenge to show the world Panama's strong commitment to preventing and combating money laundering, and requested the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), through technical assistance to develop and execute strategic initiatives based on identified vulnerabilities, with the aim of shielding to Panama against the flow of illicit investment, consolidating the country as a financial hub success model.

The symposium was attended by approximately two hundred (200) guests, including senior officials of the public sector, private sector and media, and presentations were delivered by Juan Rogers and Jorge Villalba from Rogers Forensic Auditors, as well as Cristina Ritter, legal expert of the UNODC anti-corruption team.