Several employees of Panama-based Trump Organization-managed propertyis being investigated for usurpation by local authorities, Europa Press reported.
The employees were accused of a hostile takeover of the property after refusing to allow the majority owner to enter the premises late last week. A legal representative of Ithaca Capital Partners’ Orestes Fintiklis, Sarai Blaisdell, said four employees had deliberately prevented Fintiklis from entering the property.
“We just put this complaint (for usurpation) and we will formalize the criminal complaint” because “despite the heavy investment, high sum of millions of that purchase, is not allowed (to Fintiklis) enter the hotel despite that is its legitimate owner, and are at this moment people illegitimately and illegally usurping that position within the hotel.”
Employees of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Panama-based hotel said they were abruptly instructed, by Fintiklis, to vacate the premises. Last Thursday, the businessman visited the location to deliver letters of termination, but was met with resistance, AP reported.
Police were then asked to intervene after the workers refused to leave. Reports surfaced that Fintiklis is implementing strategies to assume full management of the holding and re-brand it. The majority shareholder has accused Trump’s company of violating the terms of their contract by causing the property to run down.
Fintiklis’ attorney told local reporters that he had petitioned a Panamanian courtto issue an order of eviction against the Trump hotel employees. But it remains unknown whether the businessman was granted permission to remove the staff at the time he visited the property.
“I was not allowed to have a room in my own hotel,” EFE said Fintiklis expressed in a legal complaint. He detailed that Trump hotel employees had used “intimidation, threats.”
The hotel’s staff shot back at Fintiklis, accusing him of being accompanied by “a rogue private security team” who used “thug-like, mob-style tactics, repeatedly attempting to force their way into Trump Hotels’ offices, infiltrate and disrupt its computer systems and threatening and intimidating any employee of the hotel that resisted.”
The businessman, who has filed lawsuits and issued strongly worded letters, saysTrump’s growing unpopularity has proven problematic, resulting in a decline in the company’s revenue.
A Trump Organization official told Panamanian police that the exchange between Fintiklis and Trump hotel staff escalated into a hostile standoff, resulting in shouting. The official added the hotel’s power was at one point turned off, during the heated altercation, but eventually restored.
Trump Organization’s legal rep, Alan Garten, said: “We have always been happy to resolve our differences in a civil and professional manner. The acts by ownership over the last few days, however, have been pure thuggery.”
The Panama-based Trump premises is a “hotel condominium” consisting of rooms that are owned individually by investors.
Fintiklis owns 202 of the hotel’s 369 units, butTrump Organization’s contract remains valid through 2031. Since taking office, Trump’s name has been removed from three Trump Organization luxury hotels. The organization backed out of Rio de Janeiro, Toronto and Manhattan’s SoHo agreements.
Trump Organization stated that it took in US$810,000 in management fees, according to a 2017 financial report.