Emirates Airlines has announced that, commencing in early 2016, it will offer service between Dubai, UAE, and the Republic of Panama, a seventeen and one-half hour flight that will become the world's longest nonstop journey, a total of over 13,800 km. The airlines will operate a Boeing B777-200LR extended range on the route.
Financiers for Hezbollah and a number of other sanctioned Middle East terrorist groups, must be jumping up & down for joy, for their jobs will become much easier. The amount of international trade between Panama and the Middle East is nominal, but the nonstop flights will greatly facilitate both illicit ( i.e. money laundering) transactions, and terrorist financing operations.
Hezbollah, Hamas, and many other specially designated global terrorist organizations raise funds, through drug trafficking and other illegal activities, which are laundered and moved into, and through Panama. Bulk cash smuggling, via business jet, from Venezuela, into Panamanian general aviation airports, is the most common method of transport. The cash is readily accepted in the vast majority of Panama's banks, who seldom, if ever, check Source of Funds, and beneficial ownership, and turned into cashiers' checks, or other monetary instruments.
Now, with an easy method of moving these financial instruments, by carrying them on board an Emirates flight to Dubai, and immediate deposit into local banks, or transshipment to Lebanon, terrorist financing is facilitated.
The reverse, nonstop travel from Dubai to Panama, will allow terrorist financiers to enter Latin America without the necessity of transiting Europe, or North America, where their identities could be recorded.
Given the widespread corruption that pervades Panama, it is doubtful that either arriving, or departing, passengers on Emirates will be monitored, or their baggage examined, in Panama. I imagine that money managers for Hezbollah will be regulars on those flights.