Pictured above: The Trump International Hotel and Tower a 70-story structure in Panama City.
According to a joint investigation published on Friday, November 17th by NBC News–Reuters, and concurrent with a report by Global Witness, a non-profit fighting for justice against political and economic corruption, the tower holds links to organized crime.
It is important to note that there is no evidence to suggest that any member of the Trump family or Organization violated any laws or were aware of the backgrounds of the the characters accused or convicted of organized crimes.
A Panamanian developer named Roger Khafif, who was involved in pitching the tower to Trump in 2005 told Rueters that Trump intended on using the tower as a “baby” project for Ivanka to gain experience in real estate.
Only a year later, Ivanka brought a former car salesman by the name of Alexandre Ventura Nogueira on board to sell units in advance of the tower opening. Nogueira claimed in an interview with Rueters, that Ivanka was so impressed with his sales skills that she assisted him in becoming a head broker for the projects development and even appeared in a marketing video for its promotion.
Nogueira went on to sell more than 350 units in the complex, which amounted to about 100 million dollars in property value, he told both Rueters and NBC. Shortly after, he was arrested for real estate fraud unrelated to the tower project. Released on a 1.4 million dollar bail, he fled the country as a fugitive.
According to interviews conducted and court documents obtained by both Rueters and NBC News, Nogueira was not the only one involved in the project with a shady background. He brings light to other characters involved in purchasing units or investing in the complex:
- David Murcia Guzman: Nogueira claims to have sold as many as 10 units to Mr. Guzman, an entrepreneur set to be extradited to Colombia after being convicted of money laundering for cartels in the U.S.
- Stanislav Kavalenka: Charged in Canada for “Procuring and Compelling” women into prostitution. Charges were withdrawn at a later time.
- Arkady Vodovozov: According to documents secured by Rueters, a convicted kidnapper in Israel.
- Igor Anapolskiy: According to documents secured by Global Witness, Anapolskiy was convicted of forging travel documents in 2014.
- Louis Pargiolas: An early investor, plead guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine in a Miami federal court in 2009.
Pictured above (left): Ivanka Trump and Alexandre Ventura Nogueira at Trump Tower in 2006. Pictured above (right): Donald Trump and Alexandre Ventura Nogueira at Mar-a-Lago in 2007.
Although Ivanka & The White House would not provide comments on the subject, The Trump Organization did issue a statement:
“The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump Ocean Club Panama project. Because of its limited role, the company was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers.”
The Chief Legal Officer of The Trump Organization, Alan Garten also spoke to Reuters stating that neither the Trump family nor anyone from the organization ever remember meeting or speaking with Nogueira. However, Rueter’s interview with Nogueira provides conflicting information when he claims he’s met with Ivanka “many times” including a time they appeared in a promotional video together and claimed that “she would remember me”.