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Panama PTY detains 100's of passengers daily! I was one of them this week

Panama PTY detains 100's of passengers daily! I was one of them this week

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Old Mar 15, 19, 2:06 pm
  #16  
 
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not the experience I had in PTY. other than an additional security/passport check (which I didn't plan for) at the gate for a flight back to the US, PTY was one of the more pleasant airports I've been in.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:38 pm
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Hi guys, ive not logged in for a few days - funnily enough im travelling to other latam countries, without any other problems! (brazil, argentina, chile, ecuador etc)
I travel a lot for my business (banking) and am used to visa free access to most countries with no hassles so I was extremely surprised at what happened in Panama.
I called an attorney in the US to see what they could dig up because I rely on being able to travel freely and cant afford to have a repeat of my panama ordeal.
He found out that i have a warrant open from a speeding ticket years, ago that has flagged me up on the US side.
He said that the US shares all its criminal record data freely with Panama, Mexico and Canada and actually controls its borders by using these countries to enforce its criminal laws and restrictions.
He has since spoken to the DA office and got the warrant quashed so it will not affect me again.
HOWEVER - there remains a high risk that my details may NOT be removed from these countries databases and I could still be detained/denied again if I visit any of these 3 in the future.
This is a truly worry over extension of US power into foreign territories who are compliant to its overbearing stance on 'border protection' (i.e. same as GUANTANAMO).
In reality I presented zero risk to panama, but they willingly detain and deport anyone with any criminal history of ANY kind (no matter how small) due to US pressure to do so. They sent me back the way i had come in - i.e. via Bogota.
Wierdly I was approved for a US ESTA last year but didnt travel due to a work issue and had no knowledge of an open US warrant, until i had to endure this unpleasant experience and I do not accept that its my own fault, or that I should have known better.
My travel thru panama should not automatically trigger a criminal record check against US databases. the US should confine its criminal sanctioning to its own territories and not enforce it further afield - especially when it results in the 3rd country actually taking such a hard line to enforce these policies in the hope of gaining favour from the US agents working within its immigration department. (i saw US lanyards and a notebook with the US seal on the front so assume they were US agents, but they didnt speak to me)
I can assure you that the UK authorities are unhappy about a UK national being detained in panama and if I had been granted a phone call to my embassy, or my lawyer I would have been able to pressure for an earlier release, but they simply held me in detention without trial or information, for as long as they legally could (24hrs Plus another 6 hours to 'arrange a flight')
the whole situation is inhumane and I can assure you (under oath if necessary) that I was in a room with at least 30 people at any one time with more coming and going throughout the 2 days I was held. My phone was confiscated and I was unable to communicate with anyone in spanish.
This is a major conspiracy that panama are covering up and I would be happy to discuss it with a journalist to shed some light and get it fully investigated.
Yes i was allowed to go to the bathroom and could have drunk water from the filthy toilet taps but I dont drink water from local taps when i travel and have mostly avoided getting sick by doing so. There were mothers and babies in the room drinking god knows what, but all I can tell you is that Panama has little respect of human rights, or legal process - they just unilaterally expel anyone they like without explanation or proper conditions to care for 'detainees'
Beware of travelling there, or you may be caught in the US sponsored net next time!

Last edited by 20111; Mar 15, 19 at 8:16 pm
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:47 pm
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Edit: OP has edited his post above, removing the offending portion and has apologized by PM, for which I give him credit. I have therefore also removed the now-deleted text that I quoted and my response to it.

Last edited by Finkface; Mar 15, 19 at 9:37 pm Reason: Deleted quote and response
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Old Mar 15, 19, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by 20111 View Post
[Attorney] found out that i have a warrant open from a speeding ticket years, ago that has flagged me up on the US side
...
I do not accept that its my own fault, or that I should have known better
So the cliffs are:

Received speeding fine
Didnt pay ticket
Warrant out for arrest and then caught in another country (many countries share criminal data fwiw)
But itís somehow not OPs fault!
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Old Mar 15, 19, 8:50 pm
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Kudos to OP for returning. I do not doubt the facts of your experience or your innocence (beyond the US speeding citation). But I'm unconvinced of the reason and your lawyer's explanation. Sharing data, yes, controlling borders, not so much.

While almost anything is plausible in the US's war on terror/drugs and the universal digital surveillance state in which we all live, I find it difficult to conclude that the US has interest in blocking travel through a sovereign country, especially for such a trivial offense. I sure hope my tax dollars are being used to snag bigger fish. I'd be more inclined to believe some of your banking activities might have peripherally touched some persons of interest (this is not an accusation). Heck, even if that were the case, what good does it do to send you back instead of onward, or anywhere? They should either arrest you for a serious crime and give you a free ride to Miami, or not care either way. I can't see much of an interest for Panama in this either. Still pretty strange for me.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by YadiMolina View Post
I can't see much of an interest for Panama in this either.
I know someone from Ecuador who was in a similar position. He used to live in Panama and travel frequently enough. He was coming back from one of his Ecuador trips and landed in BLB airport. His plane was stopped, boarded, and he was taken off of it

He was eventually deported back to Ecuador (unsure on how long it took) and was told that he could only return to Panama once he has sorted out his active US warrant

While it might of course be something different (one country forcing another country to do something) it could also be the fact that if someone is essentially unwelcome in one country (or a criminal) that the 2nd country does not really want them within their borders. Much like if I own a bar, and I know that someone who just walked into it had issues/banned from another bar, I might not want their business and remove them - even though they have done nothing in my premises

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Old Mar 16, 19, 1:22 am
  #22  
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All this for a speeding ticket? And why were you set free? How did your lawyer quash the charge? Were the others there for speeding offences as well? Why would Panama get involved? None of this makes an ounce of sense to me.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 6:34 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
All this for a speeding ticket? And why were you set free? How did your lawyer quash the charge? Were the others there for speeding offences as well? Why would Panama get involved? None of this makes an ounce of sense to me.
Yeah, me neither. I'm betting I have a speeding or parking ticket out there somewhere and have been to PTY twice in the last year. Countries do share criminal data, and I'm guessing Panama is one of the countries that doesn't allow bad elements into the country freely. But I'm not sure that they'd stop a transfer (maybe) and certainly not just for a speeding ticket in another country.

Either there's more to this story than a speeding ticket, or there's a whole lot less to this story. Based on some of the opinions in the follow up post, I'm starting to wonder if it's the latter.

"This is a truly worry over extension of US power into foreign territories who are compliant to its overbearing stance on 'border protection' (i.e. same as GUANTANAMO). In reality I presented zero risk to panama, but they willingly detain and deport anyone with any criminal history of ANY kind (no matter how small) due to US pressure to do so."

"My travel thru panama should not automatically trigger a criminal record check against US databases. the US should confine its criminal sanctioning to its own territories and not enforce it further afield - especially when it results in the 3rd country actually taking such a hard line to enforce these policies in the hope of gaining favour from the US agents working within its immigration department."

"Beware of travelling there, or you may be caught in the US sponsored net next time!"
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Old Mar 17, 19, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
All this for a speeding ticket? And why were you set free? How did your lawyer quash the charge? Were the others there for speeding offences as well? Why would Panama get involved? None of this makes an ounce of sense to me.
Here in the US you can actually get speeding offences turned into other tickets. eg. you get a speeding ticket but you can get a lawyer who will speak to the DA's office and they reduce it to a parking ticket etc. Here in Vegas, there are a bunch of lawyers who, for a fee, will offer this type of service.

That said, I know that speeding tickets and warrants are not a big deal. For example, if you have a warrant for a speeding ticket in California, and are stopped in Vegas, the likely hood is nothing will happen.

As with anything, there are 3 sides to every story. Seems all very odd.
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Old Mar 17, 19, 10:53 pm
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Pay the ticket, and move on,,,
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Old Mar 21, 19, 10:45 am
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This entire thing still smells like a huge pile of BS from every possible angle, from the beginning to the so call "warrant for a ticket".

Travels a lot for business, can't even write a post in a proper manner.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Redwood839 View Post
This entire thing still smells like a huge pile of BS from every possible angle, from the beginning to the so call "warrant for a ticket".

Travels a lot for business, can't even write a post in a proper manner.
But hes a banker ....good with figures but hopeless with words...
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Old Mar 21, 19, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by malagajohn View Post
But hes a banker ....good with figures but hopeless with words...
If he's good with figures, you believe the thread title?
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Old Mar 22, 19, 4:05 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
If he's good with figures, you believe the thread title?

Trying to justify his bonus.. a bit of hyperbole is alwyas good for the mangement reports
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Old Mar 24, 19, 10:04 am
  #30  
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Yes I am a banker not a writer of literature, but that doesn't detract from my first hand experience which is 100% true and genuine.
Several doubters on here are welcome to their view, if that helps them sleep easier at night. I just hope this situation doesnt happen to them one day..

I am not exactly keen to disclose my public identity for fear of further reprisals, but I would be interested to speak to any legitimate journalist who wishes to both verify and document my experience. Please send me a PM of your contact info and confirmation that my confidentiality will be assured.
If you happen to work for the US government, can you provide a public assurance that the US does not share open arrest warrant data with Panama, Canada and Mexico and further that the US doesnt 'assist' these nations to unfairly detain & deny many people at immigration on that basis, I am confident this assurance cannot be provided and also that these arrangements are not reciprocal.
The 3rd party country has no interest in detaining these people, except to please the US authorities. As I understand it from my lawyer, there is no data sharing of the nature of the warrant, it simply shows an open warrant and the immigration dept has to call the US embassy to check if the person is really 'wanted' or can be released.
As I said - beware to all, it could happen to you one day soon unless someone exposes this publicly, to stop the clandestine expansion of US border controls.
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