Spanish version

FINANCIAL AFFAIRS

Financial Pacific clients remain hidden

There are still unanswered questions into the failed brokerage house a year into its compulsory liquidation.

Spanish version

Temas:

A year into the liquidation of the failed brokerage house Financial Pacific, there are still unanswered questions about who exactly its clients were and the movement of money within its accounts.

Investigators say the firm's database was deliberately destroyed to prevent the liquidator from tracking down money invested with the firm. It was also done to mask the identity of the clients and the source of the funds.

The Superintendency of Securities have been able to recover some of the information thanks to reports supplied by companies involved in transactions with the brokerage firm, including Audi Bank in Switzerland.

That bank has been linked to High Spirit, an account whose signatory was Aaron Mizrachi, the brother-in-law of former President Ricardo Martinelli, which was opened in March 2010. The superintendency has identified transactions from that account that have raised allegations of financial crimes and money laundering.

Specifically, funds received by High Spirit, some from unknown origins, were used to buy shares of companies like Petaquilla Minerals and Inmet Mining whose share prices were impacted by decisions made by Martinelli.

Investigators said the destruction of two databases, named "Test" and "Desa",  were destroyed on July 2 just as auditors were beginning their examination fo company records.

The databases were apparently destroyed by two individuals who entered Financial Pacific offices in the BBVA Tower on Avenida Balboa with a laptop that was used to do the job.

One of those individuals was identified as company technology officer Marcelo Kazuhiro, a Brazilian who has apparently fled Panama and who is currently wanted by Interpol.

Liquidators have also found it difficult to locate funds controlled by the firm. Checks issued by the company were returned for insufficient funds, and it was determined that accounts were opened without the required documentation.

Investigators say they still have a long way to go in their work of unraveling the mystery of how the firm failed, where the money went and who, if anyone, should be held accountable.

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