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Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties in Panama

Additionally, the government of Panama is very strict in legal matters related to Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs). A MLAT states that a country owes to aid another country, if someone supposedly has illegally earned money in an offshore/overseas account. The procedures in Panama for following a MLAT are very specific.

In the first place, anyone must face a prosecution within the territory of the other country before any consideration to provide information may actually arise. This is done to impede any searching beforehand of anyone just because he/she is suspected of something. In the second place, it is necessary for the requiring government to submit proof that some particular evidence is needed to imprison a specific person. It is not likely that courts would agree to investigate someone just to provide an extra accusation. And, the crime must also be very serious like drug trafficking, murder or terrorism, for the tribunals in Panama to go through this process.
The Republic of Panama is a place where crime is duly investigated and dealt with. Drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, child pornography, murder, kidnapping are vile offenses that are punishable by law, but to be able to make dutiful inquiries and engage in actions against those misdeeds a form must be submitted to solicit information on such wrongdoings. As soon as the petition is accepted by the government of Panama, the documentation will be provided; nevertheless, civil matters such as bankruptcy, civil cases and tax related issues are not included in the sphere of acts to be investigated.

Panama is a country in which such petitions of information are viewed as obnoxious since they rob the trust of clients and; consequently, endanger Panamanians’ sources of income, even their lifestyle could be threatened by unwanted exposure. Laws are implemented to maintain customers’ privacy; the value of secrecy is of utmost importance for Panama’s financial system and government. Therefore, the country continues to be a burgeoning financial center, specialized in handling offshore bank accounts with great expertise.