In a bombshell investigation into Donald Trump’s first international hotel deal, Reuters and NBC News report that some investors and customers of Trump’s Ocean Club in Panama City, Panama, were linked to the Russian mafia and drug trafficking. And Ivanka Trump reportedly worked with alleged fraudster Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, who is currently a fugitive from justice living under an assumed name somewhere in Europe, to sell units in the building.
Nogueira, who was responsible for up to half of the advance sales, reportedly attracted shady investors, some of whom appeared to be laundering ill-gotten gains. But he claims that nobody at the Trump Organization bothered to ask any questions about the potential buyers: “Nobody ask, ‘Who are the customers, where did the money come from?” Nogueira told NBC News. The Trump Organization says it has no relationship with Nogueira and was not aware of allegations against him.
As Fast Company reported earlier this year, the Ocean Club is the Trump Organization’s most lucrative overseas property and has raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest for the president. One of the project’s initial cheerleaders was the former president of Panama, who is wanted on multiple corruption charges and is currently a fugitive in the United States facing extradition back to his home country.