Panama’s Tocumen International Airport is expected to issue duty free tenders by the end of the year.
Both Grupo Wisa and Motta Internacional have operated stores in the airport since winning 10-year contracts in 2007.
Tocumen airport officials tell The Latin America Report both Grupo Wisa and Motta Internacional are still operating duty free shops in the airport. Grupo Wisa (which operates the stores under the La Riviera brand) represents 7% of the airport’s commercial income, say airport authorities.
However, in May, U.S. authorities accused Grupo Wisa of drug money laundering. The accusations, which have never lead to charges, lead to Grupo Wisa being put on the U.S. ‘Clinton List’, which prohibits U.S. companies and citizens from doing business with the Panama organization. Grupo Wisa president Abdul Waked has denied all charges levied against him and the company, and is working with lawyers to clear his name.
Officials say the bid for duty free shops will be open to local and international companies.