World News

Panama hotel owner wins right to remove Trump name

Panama hotel owner wins right to remove Trump name

Panamanian authorities reportedly ruled that the hotel owner could take control of the hotel's administration.

The majority owner of a 70-story tower out of which the Trump International Hotel operates has gone to court to evict the Trump Organization from the tower, and over a dozen police officers showed up Monday to forcefully carry out the eviction. For the past week, this 70-story building in Panama's capital - created to resemble a billowing sail - has been the scene of shoving matches between rival security guards, repeated visits by police, power outages, and reports of documents being shredded.

The standoff between Miami-based Mr Fintiklis and the management team at the hotel had lasted more than a week. His aim was to oust the Trump Organization, which has managed the hotel since its 2011 opening. He sued in NY and flew to Panama in February to fire Trump Organization staff, but they refused to let him past the lobby.

In the days since, police had been called to the property multiple times to "keep the peace", the AP reported.

The Trump Organization had a long-term contract to manage the property, but the owners of the hotel attempted to fire Trump's company previous year, blaming dwindling revenue and increased vacancy rates on Trump's company.

A Trump Organization representative did not immediately respond to the AP's request for comment.

When he went to deliver the notice to the Trump Organization, he said he was "pushed and shouted at" by the organization's security outfit, the news wire reported.

"As long as President Trump refuses to divest from his businesses, his presidency will be followed by the shadow of conflict of interest", Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told Business Insider on Monday.

"Today Panama has made us proud", he said.

President Donald Trump's name, emblazoned outside the hotel, was removed from the property.

A tourist poses for pictures after the Trump logo was removed from the entrance to the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower luxury complex in Panama City.

For more than a week, Trump's hotel business staved off efforts by Fintiklis and his allies to gain control of the property, with rival security teams skirmishing over physical control of key infrastructure including the administrative offices and the hotel's closed-caption security system, which was housed in the condo association within the same building.

Trump Hotels last week accused Fintiklis of "fraud" and using "mafia-style tactics" to force its administration staff out of the disputed building.

Last week, a pair of California and NY lawmakers demanded answers about what the president knew, requesting information on Trump's due diligence - or lack thereof - when it came to the Panamanian property, which he had reportedly described as Ivanka's "baby". "And today this dispute has been settled by the authorities and the judges of this country".