My role in the Paul Nunes saga continues. After spending weeks waiting, I was finally able to get the articles that were being held by the David authorities released into my custody. The photos that follow were taken by Jorge with my cell phone, so the quality is only fair.
I had to sign about 15 pages of inventory of the items that had been take out of the truck for safe keeping and put in storage. I think these all had three carbons. I bet many people in the US have forgotten what carbon copy paper is.
In this photo, they are making a hand written copy of the entire inventory that they had and the gentleman on the left is writing everything by hand on a yellow tablet for future transcription. On the right is the current file of documentation on the Paul Nunes case.
In this photo, we are looking in the depository where everything was stored. The bottom right was the tool chest that had been removed from the pickup and brought inside for safe keeping.
This photo is of Paul Nunes truck being opened up. Each door and the engine cover and the fuel tank door were covered with a metal tape and dated when the pickup was sealed. There are literally hundreds of cars and pickups sealed in this manner, most having been taken related to drugs. Why they do not expedite selling these vehicles to bring in revenue to the police, I don’t know.
At this point I got in the pickup and started it up and was almost ready to declare victory. Then I put it into reverse and realized that the parking brake was engaged. When I looked, the emergency brake had been pushed to the floor and would not release.
When I mentioned this to the police, they told me that the truck had been brought in that way. The thieves had driven it from Algarrobos heading toward the Costa Rican border and had abandoned it after 20 kilometers because of the brake being engaged. I told them I would have to reschedule picking up the truck after I found a mechanic to release the brake. Since it had been brought in that way, I am not sure why they had not told me to have a mechanic with me when I picked it up.
Lilliam wanted to be here when I got the truck and since she was going to Panama to see Natalie off to China, it would be four days before I returned. The day Lilliam got back from Panama City, I received a call from the police telling me I needed to hurry up and get the truck. It had taken them weeks to release it, but they wanted it out in days.
I stopped by Auto Servicios to find a mechanic to go with me to the police station. I talked to Carlos Saldaña and told him about my problem. He had heard of Paul’s murder and, even though the shop was very busy, he pulled a mechanic off a task and asked him to accompany me.
Tool case in hand, we went to where the pickup was being held. Five minutes after opening the door, the brake was free. I was told not to engage the parking brake until it had been repaired. We loaded all of the items from the police deposit into the truck and the mechanic drove it to where I am storing it.
I then took the mechanic back to Auto Servicios and asked Carlos what I owed him. He said, “not a thing”. He said it was his donation to the cause. As a side note, Carlos is in the process of selling Auto Servicios and moving to a smaller shop. When he is in operation in his new location, I will go and take photos and tell you where it is. If you see Carlos, tell him you heard about his good deed.
This brings me up to yesterday. My next item on the agenda is to get the title in my name so I can sell it and send the money to the heirs in the US. This requires the services of a corredora. I am using Martha Stanziola de Losilla. She is one no nonsense lady and knows how to get things done. If you need to have anything done with customs, I recommend you contact Martha. If you contact Martha, tell her you head about her on Chiriquí Chatter.
We took the pickup to the customs office and they are processing the paperwork. I hope to have the pickup back in a few days and then I will be posting it for sale as well as the contents that it had. Stay tuned for that.
To this point, this has been a real learning experience and I will have more to post when I get more time to focus on it.
We are getting close, but we can’t light the cigars yet.