Today’s issue brings an update regarding the money laundering charges brought against the Waked Group in Panama by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets control (OFAC), which were announced on May 5. Abdul Waked and his Grupo Wisa company are emphatically denying the allegations, as Mr. Waked’s attorneys say they are trying to determine the specifics of the charges.
However, in a blow to their defense, US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley held a press conference on Friday, May 13, confirming that the government has strong evidence that the Waked organization was involved in money laundering in several countries. At the same time, the Ambassador is working with the government of Panama and the US to obtain temporary licenses so that the various Waked-owned businesses can continue to operate.
A copy of Ambassador Feely’s full speech (in Spanish) can be found here. The letter sent out by Grupo Wisa to its foreign stakeholders can be seen here. Story Inside Insider on Pages 1-2.
By the Numbers. ACI reports strong first quarter passenger traffic, even as March numbers moderate. Page 1.
Corporate. The Estée Lauder Companies has launched a huge new 5-year initiative that will enhance its go-to-market capabilities and free resources to invest in the future. Page 2.
Services. JCDecaux hits New York City’s prestigious Fifth Avenue with a major outdoor campaign for brands in the LVMH Group. Page 4.
May is Airport Restaurant Month and this year HMSHost expands the popular concept to Europe. See where on page 4.
Supply Side. David Beckham signs with Biotherm; L’Oreal Paris named top cosmetic brand ranking for third year in a row; Diego Zamoro launches first innovation ever for its Licor 43 brand. Page 3.