Alcogal, Real estate law firm in Panama, advised Banca de Inversión Bancolombia (BIB) in the sale of the Soho Project, for US$350 million.
The Soho project is the largest high-end luxury commercial real estate project in Panama, including two office towers, a hotel and a luxury shopping center.
This is a unique transaction as it results from sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury on the Waked Group, which previously owned this project.
The shares of the entity that owned the Soho Project were placed in trust with the Banco Nacional de Panamá with the purpose of selling the project for the benefit of its creditors.
Real estate law firm in Panama
It is the first transaction of its kind in Panama and perhaps the most expensive real estate transaction ever in Panama. The transaction closed in June 2017.
Partners Anibal Galindo and Eloy Alfaro, along with associates Patricia Cordero, Rita de la Guardia, and Eduardo Gomez, were in charge of this transaction.
Sanctions lifted against Soho Mall
The US Treasury Department lifted the trade sanctions affecting Soho Mall, which was included on the Clinton List of the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) for activities related to money laundering and drug trafficking.
The exclusion of Soho Mall was formalized due to the sale of the mall to a Mexican business group Inmobiliaria Citelis Panamá and Inversiones Amilena Inc. OFAC removed the shopping center from its list of designated persons and entities .
Definition of ‘Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)’
The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) is a department of the U.S. Treasury that enforces economic and trade sanctions against countries and groups of individuals involved in terrorism, narcotics and other disreputable activities.
OFAC enforces sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives.
According to this federal agency, those policies are aimed at foreign nations, terrorists, and traffickers of narcotics who pose a threat to national security or the nation’s economy. This include entities who proliferate weapons of mass destruction.
The agency’s actions are authorized by legislation. OFAC can also take action under national emergency powers granted to the President of the United States to perform such deeds as freezing assets that fall under U.S. jurisdiction.
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