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Watch a hotel rip Trump's name off its sign

07 March 2018

A Panamanian court on Monday ordered the appointment of a temporary third-party administrator to manage the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, the Trump Organization said in a statement.

The dramatic development in a 12-day dispute over control of the property came early yesterday when a Panamanian judicial official and police officers backed the hotel's majority owner, Orestes Fintiklis, as he took possession of the 70-floor, waterfront high-rise.

Fintiklis, who wants to drop the Trump name from the building, argued in court documents that the Trump Organization's mismanagement caused occupancy levels to drop while expenses rose.

After two weeks of armed guards scuffling in the hallways, riot police on the premises, and water and electricity being inexplicably shut off, the fight for control of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Panama reportedly reached a resolution Monday.

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

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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.

"Based upon the merits, Trump Hotels remains fully confident that it will not only prevail, but recover all of its damages, costs and attorneys' fees, including those damages, costs and attorneys' fees arising from today's events", the organization said.

As the New York Times reported, "An arm of a foreign government finds itself in the extraordinary position of investigating a business owned by the American president". "Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country".

Now, the Trump Hotels brand operates 11 properties in its portfolio after hotels in Toronto and NY similarly voted to step away from the brand recently. Last week, when Fintiklis attempted to wrest back control of his property, hotel management locked themselves in a secure, guarded room and let their security team spar with Fintiklis' own.

The owners of the hotel property had paid at least $32 million to use the Trump brand, according to the AP.

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The longer Donald Trump spends as US President the more his private business brand seems to suffer.

As he has during other moments in the standoff when he claimed victory, he played the piano in the hotel lobby. With a 2017 report from Global Witness noting that the building had laundered "proceeds from Colombian cartels' narcotics trafficking", making Trump "one of the beneficiaries" of such laundering, questions continue to pile about what the president and his family knew about the money laundering swamping the property.

In this February 27, 2018 file photo, a Panamanian police vehicle passes in front the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City.

Mr. Fintiklis, a Cypriot citizen, then strode to the lobby's baby grand piano and played and sang "Accordeon", a popular Greek song about the fight against fascism.

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Watch a hotel rip Trump's name off its sign