Panama Ports hits club for $ 2million
PANAMA. The Panama Canal Yacht Club saga is taking a turn for the worse, with Panama Ports suing the board of directors of the club for...
PANAMA. The Panama Canal Yacht Club saga is taking a turn for the worse, with Panama Ports suing the board of directors of the club for $2 million.
The yacht club located in Cristobal Port, was served with an eviction order signed by Colon’s mayor, Antonio Latiff on the early hours of February 27.
The bailiff gave the personnel of the club and its customers until 9:00 a.m. to remove their belongings.
On February 28, which by coincidence was a holiday in the Colon province, bulldozers proceeded to demolish the premises of the club.
Panama Ports in a recent statement said that the company has only exercised its right to make use of the areas that were given to it in concession through the Contract Law 5 of January 16, 1997 and the lease contract it had with the club expired a long time ago, therefore, it was illegally occupying the land.
According to a yacht club source, the administration of the maritime organization paid rent to Panama Ports until February 2009 and therefore there was nothing illegal in the occupation of the land.
The source said that the Panama Canal Yacht Club is going to fight back and will defend their rights in the courts and will try to stop Panama Ports efforts to erase the club from the face of the earth.
Meanwhile, Panama Ports Company has provided the yacht club administrator with an air conditioned port-a-cabin and has given some tents where an improvised cafeteria has sprung up. The boats owners were asked to remove their vessels by April 1.
Panama Ports is owned by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), which is the world's leading port investor, developer and operator with interests in 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
Hutchinson won the concessions for the ports of Balboa and Cristobal when they were privatized by the Panamanian government.
At that time, Hugo Torrijos Richa, cousin of President Martin Torrijos was the advisor of the Ports Authority.
Employees from the Panama Canal Yacht Club are still awaiting an answer from Panama Ports, because they have lost their jobs due to the eviction.