Investigators, from the United States, Canada and the European Union (EU), have been working in the Republic of Panama all week, regarding unspecified securities matter. It is not know whether they are from regulatory authorities (e.g. SEC, OSC, FINRA, or ESMA), or if they are from law enforcement agencies in those countries. Three individuals from the US, two from Canada, and one from the EU have been seen in Panama City.
Informed sources in Panama City advise that the Government of Panama is not releasing any information concerning these investigation, though it has been rumored that official Panamanian cooperation has been less than satisfactory, especially regarding the timely availability of documents for examination by the investigators. Whether they are investigating the Financial Pacific/Petaquilla mining Ltd. scandal is not known at this time. Panamanian media has thus far declined to cover the story; whether anyone in the government has pressured media to ignore it is not known.
Many Panamanians are painfully aware that the SMV*, the country's securities regulator, has not been the subject of any reform efforts, notwithstanding the global adverse publicity surrounding the Financial Pacific scandal, and the abrupt termination of all in-house investigations of the case, by senior SMV officials, all of whom are now under criminal investigation. SMV is broken, and the Republic of Panama has taken no steps to fix it, or disband it, and to form a new agency to regulate securities. Frankly, the new administration has had a year to clean house at SMV, but nothing has been done; It is high time to shut it down.
* Loose English translation: Superintendency of the Securities Market.