Panama

Abdul Waked sues the U.S. to show charges against him

Panamanian newspaper La Prensa last week reported that Grupo Wisa duty free operator Abdul Waked, who was accused of activities related to money laundering and drug trafficking by the United States in May, has filed a lawsuit against the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. La Prensa said […]

Farewell to Alberto “Pancho” Motta

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The heir of a proud legacy and pioneering spirit has passed away   It is with profound sadness and immense shock that we confirm the news that Alberto “Pancho” Motta, Jr., Director of Motta Internacional, passed away this morning at his home in Panama. Many of us in the industry spent the last week with […]

Panama’s Tocumen Airport plans new $650 million bond issue

Panama’s Tocumen Airport administrators in Panama are negotiating with Citi to structure and launch the second bond issue in two months in order to complete financing for the expansion of the airport’s South Terminal, reports prensa.com. The goal is to sell the entire issue on the international market before the end of this year, and […]

Motta Internacional: A proud legacy and pioneering spirit

One of Motta Internacional’s Attenza stores in Panama’s Tocumen International Airport.

As the pioneer duty free company in the Americas, Motta Internacional holds a special position in the development of the industry. From its humble beginnings back in 1949 when the original Motta & Motta opened the first duty free store in the hemisphere in Panama, today Motta Internacional and its affiliated companies encompass over 2,000 […]

Grupo Wisa’s Abdul Waked: The Master of Luxury

Soho Mall will debut the new concept La Riviera flagship perfume store.

Abdul Waked, the head of leading Latin American duty free operator Grupo Wisa, has always loved luxury goods. Hailed as a visionary, Waked’s original La Riviera stores in the 1990’s transformed the way fragrances and cosmetics were sold in much of Central America and introduced the concept of perfumeries in Panama. In La Riviera, top-name […]

Duty Free Americas marches South and onward

DFA is now operating five stores in Punta Cana with more underway.  Shown here is the stunning Luve Champagne Bar.

Who would have imagined how prophetic the name Duty Free Americas would be when the Falic Group bought the company from BAA back in 2001? At that time it was the largest duty free operator in North America, with stores in airports and along the northern U.S. border with Canada and the Southern border with […]

Abdul Waked named Businessman of the Year in Panama as first phase of $350 million Soho Complex is set to open

Central American magazine El Economista has named Abdul Waked as Panama’s Businessman of the Year. The award, announced February 20 in the Jan/Feb issue of the magazine, acknowledges the success of Grupo Wisa’s retailing activities in 14 countries across Central and South America; and recognizes the development of the $350m Soho Complex in downtown Panama […]

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