Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube, owned by Dan Zorella and Dr. Avi Yanus, is behind the exposure of large-scale corruption in Panama’s justice system. At the heart of the affair is attorney Janio Lescure. In the Panamanian press, the affair is known as Lescure’s Formula.
Since the publication of the Panama Papers in April 2016, would-be criminals in Panama have become more cautious, and although their underhanded actions are challenged by the use of new surveillance and location methods including digital fingerprints, law enforcement agents still find it difficult to obtain evidentiary information to prosecute them.
According to Panamanian newspaper El Mundo, a sophisticated and intricate system of corruption that involves the most senior Supreme Court judges including Judge Oydén Ortega was exposed by Black Cube.
According to the publication, the investigation, which was commissioned by one of the justice system’s victims, extended over nine months, focusing on Lescure’s improprieties. Lescure is a known attorney in Panama, whose involvement in a series of suspect court rulings raised deep suspicions about their legitimacy, and consequently cast suspicions over the entire justice system.
According to El Mundo and additional newspapers in South America, Black Cube’s investigation discovered clear evidence that bribes has been given in several high-profile legal cases to sway court rulings in favor of Lecsure’s clients, but the investigation also uncovered an abundance of evidence about the methodical corruption at the very top of the Panamanian justice system.
According to the investigation materials, bribes in high-profile cases might cost up to 500 thousand dollars. Payment was typically made through friends or family members, to the Swiss bank accounts belonging to off-short companies. In other cases, funds were transferred through secured, secret boxes located in Panama City.
The investigation also revealed a system of trafficking of women for prostitution in Panama. The agents of the Israeli firm had many hours of recordings in which Lescure spoke of the method that he said he perfected over a period of 15 years. In these conversations, Lescure described in detail how girls are brought into Panama, where they are forced to work, how transactions are falsely recorded as alcohol sales, and he identified the individuals involved in the long chain of bribery that ensures that officials show a blind eye and allow business to continue as usual.
According to reports, the Panamanian police entered the picture last week and commenced its own investigation into the affair.