Following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation with respect to widespread corruption that was exposed within the Maltese government, the Panama Papers are being viewed with renewed scrutiny.
While the Panama Papers were dense with information, casting light on what was long known to be the shady financial and power-brokering deals in Panama (if only virtually), the media is taking a deeper dive into one of the prominent fixtures featured within the investigation: Trump Organization.
The investigation found that President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, worked with Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, a 43-year-old Brazilian who was arrested three years later by Panamanian authorities on charges of fraud and forgery. Nogueira would later flee the country after his release on a $1.4 million bail, according to a report from Reuters.
Their project was the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama, a lavish project consisting of residential apartments and a casino in one of the tallest buildings in Latin America. It is said to have been completed in no small part thanks to the working relationship between Ivanka Trump and Mr. Nogueira.
When the Spanish-language TV channel Univision, in an article first published in 2011, noted Nogueira’s role in the aforementioned Trump project, Eric Trump responded that Nogueira had been an unaffiliated salesman. Eric Trump said, “I looked and I’ve never heard the name, nor does it appear in our database. What I found out was [Nogueira] owns a real estate agency in Panama that sells apartments in our building as a third party.”
But that’s such small comfort as everyone in Donald Trump’s orbit seems to have such a hard time remembering people. Especially corrupt people, more especially corrupt people who helped make them obscenely wealthy. The Trump clan’s ability to clearly remember folks falters further if it happens that the corrupt business partner or unaffiliated salesman was up to his eyeballs in ill-gotten Russian money. Mr. Nogueira, then, would need to be thoroughly forgotten by everyone affiliated with Trump Organization as he reportedly had deep ties to the Russian mafia.
For his part, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira remembers the Trumps very well. He spoke particularly fondly of Ivanka, telling Reuters that he both met and spoke with Ivanka “many times” while she was handling the Trump Organization’s involvement in the Panama development. “She would remember me,” he said. In fact, it is said that it was Ivanka Trump herself who helped him become a leading broker for the Trump development because she was so impressed by his skills as a salesman.
But will she remember him? He’s so shady, even by ordinary Trump business partner metrics, that surely Ivanka will have no memory of him whatsoever. Right?