LatinNews Daily - 9 August 2023

In brief: Panama unveils new asset forfeiture bill

* Panama’s executive led by President Laurentino Cortizo has presented a new asset forfeiture bill before the 71-member unicameral legislature. According to a press release by the presidency, the new proposal seeks to combat organised crime through “applying measures of international cooperation involving justice systems, law enforcement and investigative agencies to identify, locate and recover illicit assets”. The unveiling of the new initiative follows the shelving of an earlier bill by the legislature back in late April due to lack of quorum. Approval of an asset forfeiture bill is widely considered key to removing Panama from the grey list drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of countries that are not doing enough to combat money laundering as well as the European Union (EU)’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. According to the Cortizo government, the new proposal includes several changes to the previous initiative with regard to the specification of crimes to be investigated by the law, among other things.

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