How to get a tax exemption
PANAMA. At least two of the seven luxury cars owned by David Murcia Guzman in Panama were bought with official tax exemptions. These e...
PANAMA. At least two of the seven luxury cars owned by David Murcia Guzman in Panama were bought with official tax exemptions. These exemptions are given to lawmakers, Parlacen (Central American Parliament) members, and their deputy officers, and can only be used by themselves or their family members.
No lawmaker has come out announcing familial links to Murcia, yet the businessman was successful in receiving two exemptions to buy his cars at Auto Sportivo, company owned by Martin Rodin.
“Rodin was a great friend in Panama. You learn to do business with experienced people, and Rodin was one of my teachers. It is a shame that now he says he doesn’t know me,” Murcia said to La Estrella.
Ernesto Chong, sports car racer, introduced Murcia to Auto Sportivo to meet Rodin. Auto Sportivo is the only company in Panama that could have sold Murcia the cars he bought. And a deeper look at the car purchases shows people close to the company were probably responsible in getting him the the tax exemptions.
For a long time, Rodin’s lawyer was Jorge Hernan Rubio, who has been a lawmaker since 2004. Rubio represented Rodin in the CEMIS case, and in Rodin’s trial against his father.
Rubio, once investigated by the Public Ministry for involvement in alleged bribes to promote a bill that would declare the Bocas del Toro insular territory as a special development zone, was pinpointed by Murcia and his allies as the link between the Colombian businessman and the Ferraris, Rodin, and the National Assembly.
Yet Rubio, from the Rubio, Alvarez, Solis & Abrego lawfirm, was confused as to the role he played. When asked by La Estrella whether he was Rodin’s lawyer, he said: “I don’t know. We used to represent him, but when one of the lawyers left, she took that client with her.”
Fanny de la Rosa, lawyer for Rodin’s Auto Sportivo, is linked to Rubio’s lawfirm through Morabia Guerrero, former member of the firm.
De la Rosa was identified in 2007 as the person who managed the purchase of exemptions. It should come as no surprise then that the scandals related to fraudulent exemptions have been for the purchase of luxury Italian cars, Auto Sportivo’s specialty.
De La Rosa was named by Parlacen’s deputy officer Victoria Rios de Robolt (who in 2005 used her tax exemption for a Ferrari purchase for someone else) as the person accompanying the buyer when asking for her tax exemption.
Yet Rubio denies handling Murcia’s exemptions. “My two exemptions were used for my two cars.”