Big-spending Panamanian jailed for money laundering
A Panamanian man who was officially unemployed but could afford to spend €22,000 on a new car, live in a flat rented for €650 a month and still send thousands of euros abroad was today jailed for money laundering.
Domingo Navas, 33, pleaded guilty to the single charge of money laundering instead of standing trial by jury. He was jailed for three years and six months and fined €3,500.
Navas was last year acquitted of drug trafficking while a friend of his, Jose' Pena, 41 from Columbia, was jailed for 18 years and fined €20,000.
According to the prosecution Mr Navas had sent money to Mr Pena when he was in Panama in 2005.
Six months ago Mr Navas's cousin Eduardo Navas Rios, 30, from Qawra, was found guilty in a trial by jury of stealing some €50,000 and laundering that amount to his home country. He was jailed for four years and six months and fined €10,000.
The investigation kicked off after an estimated €349,500 were transferred from Malta to Panama. During the investigation, police confronted Mr Navas, who could not explain his spending despite the fact that he had no job.
In the judgement, Mr Justice Michael Mallia said that he took into consideration the plea bargaining that took place between defence lawyer Joe Mifsud and the Attorney General before jailing him for three years and six months.