0 102115Z JAN 79
FM MEXICO CITY (89-25) (P) 3P
TO DIRECTOR (89-4286) PRIORITY
ReMextel, December 26, 1978 and San Francisco airtel with three copies of a grand jury subpoena to be served in Panama dated December 7, 1978.
ReMextel advised the Bureau that U.S. Embassy Panama officials had advised Legat, Mexico City that the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), Washington, D. C., had been in contact with Panamanian officials in order to obtain information and freeze the bank accounts at the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in captioned matter.
Prior to the above information, Legat, Mexico City was in receipt of Butel dated December 8, 1978, wherein San Francisco had advised of the bank accounts at the UBS in Panama and requested that Legat, Mexico City identify, locate assets and the status of the accounts in this matter. Immediately thereafter, Legat, Mexico City
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through liaison, requested high official in the Panamanian government to conduct the logical investigation. By teletype dated December 21, 1978, the Bureau advised that Legat, Bern had ascertained that the three accounts were not located at the UBS in Switzerland, but were presumed to be in Panama. Mexico City was requested in that teletype to determine if a safe deposit box was also located at the UBS in Panama.
In view of the foregoing, there is some uncertainty as to whether Bureau instructions received in Butel of December 8, 1978 have been amended or rescinded with regard to the handling of leads in Panama in captioned matter. In addition, referenced airtel was forwarded by the Bureau and calls for service in Panama of an enclosed grand jury subpoena. The force and effect in Panama of a subpoena issued in the United States is unknown to this office. It would quite probably depend on the terms of any formal agreement between the two countries dealing with judicial assistance. Like extradition, the implementation of any such formal agreement should probably be handled through the State Department
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and the Embassy in Panama City.
Bureau advice will be appreciated. UACB [Unless Advised to Contrary by the Bureau], no further action being taken in Panama until additional specific Bureau instructions are received.
Armed and dangerous; suicidal tendencies.
Bureau requested to furnish the above to SAC, San Francisco (89-250) by teletype.