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U.S. Department of Justice shares significant amount of seized assets with Panama
Some of the assets seized in a money laundering case that broke at of the turn of the millennium involving a Panama-based business have been shared with Panama. The sum is the second largest dollar amount in seized assets ever shared by the United States with a foreign government: $36 million dollars.
The investigation was initiated in 1998 by the DEA and Panamanian authorities.
“The assistance of the Panamanian authorities has been consistent, reliable and broad-ranging,” said US Deputy Attorney General James Cole, “As we see, in this case, how much can be accomplished through international cooperation, let us resolve to continue this same high level of cooperation in future cases.”
The seized assets will be used to strengthen Panama’s ability to fight money laundering and seize assets in criminal and judicial investigations.
Over the past 24 years the United States has shared $277 million dollars in seized criminal assets with a total of 54 countries. The leading recipient to date is Guatemala.
A committee has been established to supervise the distribution of the assets.