Trump Panama tower linked to organized crime

Ivanka played central role -- and didn't ask a lot of questions, despite the country's reputation for rampant corruption. Why do Trumps seem to have a knack for surrounding themselves with sleaze? 🐷

"PANAMA CITY — When Ivanka Trump flew here in 2006 to push her family’s latest business project — an oceanfront steel and glass tower called the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, shaped like a sail and designed to be one of the tallest buildings in Latin America — a Brazilian real estate salesman named Alexandre Ventura Nogueira says he was ready with a sales pitch."


"Ventura did sell the initial units, and later hundreds more. He is now a fugitive. In May 2009, Ventura was arrested in Panama for real estate fraud, unrelated to the Trump project...

"Ventura isn’t the only person associated with the building who has had run-ins with the law. An NBC News investigation into the Trump Ocean Club, in conjunction with Reuters, shows that the project was riddled with brokers, customers and investors who have been linked to drug trafficking and international crime. Ceballos, who investigated the project, went as far as to call the skyscraper “a vehicle for money laundering.”

"...But Ventura said that the Trumps never asked any questions about the buyers or where the money was coming from."

"Legal experts contacted by Reuters said the Trumps should have asked those questions. Because Panama is “perceived to be highly corrupt,” said Arthur Middlemiss, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a former head of JPMorgan’s global anti-corruption program, those who do business there should perform due diligence on others involved in their ventures. If they fail to do so, he told Reuters, they risk being liable under U.S. law of turning a blind eye to wrongdoing."

A Panama tower carries Trump's name and ties to organized crime

NBC News, November 17, 2017