The Ministry of Health ( Minsa ) of Panama warned that "unscrupulous" people are posing as health inspectors to extort commercial establishments, demanding payments not to close these stores.
The Minsa reiterated that in the operations there are always an environmental health inspector, a food protection inspector and a health promoter from the local health center, with an identification card and an officer from the National Police (PN).
The entity clarified that health inspectors do not request money from business owners for the processes.
Israel Cedeño, director of the metropolitan health region, explained that when making a seizure a record is drawn up with what was seized and a summons is made to Legal Advice, the regional head of Public Health and the regional direction; If the premises have already been inspected and there are faults, a record is kept with the file to verify the faults.
"We alert all merchants to be attentive to this, even to be able to enter the premises we must be authorized, we always request permission from the manager or administrator of this and operations are never carried out at the closing time of the premises, unless a operational to verify compliance with the curfew," Cedeño said.
The entity reminded citizens that complaints for this type of situation can be made to the 311 Citizen Attention Center.