his directive claims that Fiesta-Panama's board of directors is not properly “certified”. It also claims that Fiesta-Panama's operations sustained operating losses and alleged other incorrect statements relating to Fiesta-Panama and the company's financial condition.
The company said that its financial statements clearly set forth that these assertions are incorrect. Fiesta-Panama is and has been profitable and is current in its debt and vendor payments.
In November 2009 Fiesta-Panama presented a “constitutional warning” which is now before the Supreme Court of Panama challenging the constitutionality of the law relied upon by the Director.
According to the laws of Panama, the “constitutional warning” requires the directive to be held in abeyance pending review by the Supreme Court. In addition, the “constitutional warning” requires the Panama Gaming Control Board to “cease and desist” from taking any and all actions that they have attempted to undertake with respect to the directive.
The company said that the presently constituted board of directors had submitted requests in a timely manner for certification from the Gaming Control Board. As of 25 November 2009, the director sought to insert three appointed individuals as members of the board of directors of Fiesta-Panama, despite such action being in clear violation of Panama law as confirmed by the company's legal advisors.
The Panama General Revenue Office of the Economy and Finance Department has recently issued a non-public resolution to Fiesta-Panama relying on “circumstantial evidence” to conclude that a preliminary tax assessment of us$ 3.6 million is owed by Fiesta-Panama. As a result, a government administrator was appointed to monitor the Fiesta-Panama operations while the group's six Fiesta-Panama casinos continue to operate the business as normal.
The company affirmed that Fiesta-Panama's audits and tax filings have always been conducted by independent, internationally renowned audit and tax preparer firms.
The above mentioned proceedings initiated by the Gaming Control Board and the Panama General Revenue Office of the Economy and Finance Department were believed to be non-public confidential matters under Panama law as final outcomes have not been determined.
Currently, in light of the recent news stories that have appeared in Panama containing certain false information regarding the group and the aforementioned proceedings involving Fiesta-Panama, the company is now clarifying the group's position.
The group said that they will not a “litigate” its legal proceedings in the press. Fiesta-Panama will provide the same quality services to its clients and will provide a secure place of employment for over 1,200 valued Panama employees while maintaining our excellent credit rating with lenders and providers.
Thunderbird and Fiesta-Panama will continue to challenge the aforementioned actions but will not engage in responding to false rumours and misrepresentations.