About Okke Ornstein


Okke Ornstein is from the Netherlands where he worked for about 15 years in the wonderful world of television and radio before accidentally moving to Panama. He works as a journalist, radio producer and photographer. Assignments include reporting from Panama, Afghanistan and recently Syria. Ornstein runs the blog Bananama Republic and his own site at ornstein.org.

http://www.ornstein.org

Okke Ornstein's Comments

 
Why Is TeleSur a Flop? Look No Farther than Its Libya Coverage
Feb 27 2011 - 9:21pm
WikiLeaks: The Last Interview?
Dec 11 2010 - 2:26pm
Banamex v. Narco News Precedent Protects WikiLeaks, Too
Dec 2 2010 - 9:07am
Banamex v. Narco News Precedent Protects WikiLeaks, Too
Dec 1 2010 - 7:40pm
Ecuador's CONAIE and Defamation by “Journalism of the State”
Oct 13 2010 - 7:58am

Panama Supreme Court Ruling May Leave Lawyers and Money Launderers Jobless


Panama's Supreme Court took a decision the 17th of this month in a libel case brought by HSBC bank USA/Panama against a Canadian expatriate that has far reaching consequences for the country's (in)famous banking and corporate secrecy which has made it a money laundering and tax dodging haven over the years.

The decision will hit hard in that - substantial - part of the offshore finance business where secrecy is essential for survival: (drug) money laundering and (corporate) tax evasion. Investigations and arrests of narco kingpins invariably lead to Panama where drug trade profits are laundered and then hidden in numerous corporate structures. The real estate construction boom thrives on dirty money, and the DEA described the industry as follows:

Will the Stock Market Sink Panama's Petaquilla Mine?

Large scale gold mining has nothing to do with romantic images of people sifting through river beds, panning sediments for gold dust. It is about massive excavations, cyanide to dissolve gold residues, exploitation of workers.

Case in point is Petaquilla Mining, a Canadian/Panamanian outfit that owns a concession in the Panamanian province of Coclé. If you read their website, it’s all about building roads and helping local communities.

Terrorist Pardon Reversed in Panama

Panama's Supreme Court reversed 168 presidential pardons given by former president Mireya Moscoso, including that of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

Haaretz Reports "dozens of Israeli security experts" Involved in Betancourt Rescue

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Israeli security experts working for a private security firm, Global CST, owned by former General Staff operations chief, Brigadier General (res.) Israel Ziv, and Brigadier (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, were involved in the operation to rescue high-profile hostage Ingrid Betancourt from the FARC rebel group:

Panama Supreme Court to Review US-Backed Drug Interdiction Program

The President of Panama's National Assembly, Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, has filed a demanda de inconstitucionalidad with the Supreme Court against the Salas-Becker Agreement. That agreement between Panama and the United States, signed in 2002, allows for joint patrols in Panamanian waters and the conduct of bilateral maritime police operations to prevent illicit activities such as drug trafficking, illegal fishing, and contraband transport. In reality however, the US has arrested, taken and jailed Panamanian suspects under the agreement without even letting Panama know about it and that, claims Gonzalez, is in violation of Panama's constitution.

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