The wild standoff between the Trump Organization and a Panamanian hotel owner just reached a dramatic conclusion

  • The lengthy standoff between the Trump Organization and a Panamanian hotel owner came to an end Monday.
  • Panamanian authorities reportedly ruled that the hotel owner could take control of the hotel's administration.
  • Trump Organization security abandoned the property.

A 12-day standoff between the Trump Organization and a Panamanian hotel owner at President Donald Trump's namesake Panama hotel ended Monday after Trump business officials were ousted from the luxury building by local authorities.

The Associated Press reported that the owner of that Trump Panama hotel took control of the property on Monday, escorted into the building by police officers and a Panamanian judicial official. Trump Organization security officials, which had engaged in the standoff for nearly two weeks, abandoned the property. 

Video emerged of a worker taking off the Trump name from a hotel sign:

The dispute broke out into the open last week when Orestes Fintiklis, the majority owner of the hotel, arrived in the lobby of the building with associates. His aim was to oust the Trump Organization, which has managed the hotel since its 2011 opening. The Trump Organization, however, refused to leave.

In the days since, police had been called to the property multiple times to "keep the peace," the AP reported. Meanwhile, after Fintiklis and his associates hand-delivered termination notices to Trump Organization employees at the hotel, witnesses told the AP that they saw Trump executives moving files to a room, where they would be shredded.

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Worker removes Trump name from Panama hotel sign
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Worker removes Trump name from Panama hotel sign
A man walks next to the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel in Panama City on February 27, 2018. Panamanian prosecutors are investigating a dispute between owners and the management of a Trump hotel, a skyscraper that cuts a distinctive figure among the towers crowding the capital city. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
Panamanian policemen stand guard outside the Trump's Hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. Panamanian prosecutors are investigating a dispute between owners and the management of a Trump hotel, a skyscraper that cuts a distinctive figure among the towers crowding the capital city. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
General view of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel in Panama City on February 27, 2018. Panamanian prosecutors are investigating a dispute between owners and the management of a Trump hotel, a skyscraper that cuts a distinctive figure among the towers crowding the capital city. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker removes the Trump sign letters from outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel from the administration of the business the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, with which he has a complex lawsuit in the United States, which Panamanian prosecutors are investigating. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker removes the Trump sign letters from the sign outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the administration of the business. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker removes the Trump sign letters from outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel from the administration of the business the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, with which he has a complex lawsuit in the United States, which Panamanian prosecutors are investigating. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
View of the hotel entrance sign after the Trump letters were removed, outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. Panamanian prosecutors are investigating a dispute between owners and the management of a Trump hotel, a skyscraper that cuts a distinctive figure among the towers crowding the capital city. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
View of te hotel sign after the Trump letters were removed from outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the administration of the business. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers clean the hotel sign after the Trump letters were removed from it, outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the administration of the business. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker cleans after the Trump sign letters were removed from outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the administration of the business. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers clean a sign after the Trump sign letters were removed, at the Trump Hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the administration of the business. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers clean a sign after the Trump sign letters were removed, at the Trump Hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. The new owner of the luxury hotel Trump in Panama said that he managed to expel the company linked to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from the administration of the business. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker cleans after the Trump sign letters were removed from outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018. Panamanian prosecutors are investigating a dispute between owners and the management of a Trump hotel, a skyscraper that cuts a distinctive figure among the towers crowding the capital city. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
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It got so bad that footage leaked of Trump Organization security and hotel officials fighting within the building. Ethics experts fear that the standoff presents Trump with one of his most consequential conflicts of interest as president.

"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. "How will this impact any future decisions the Trump administration makes towards Panama? That's a question we shouldn't have to ask, but one everyone needs to be asking."

In court filings, the Trump Organization called Fintiklis' effort a "design to wrongfully seize control over the hotel property."

"Rather than abide by the clear terms of the agreement he had signed, Mr. Fintiklis had been conspiring with others to remove Trump Hotels as manager and fire most, if not all, of its loyal and dedicated employees,” the Trump Organization said in a statement. "Looking back, it is now apparent that Mr. Fintiklis, in flagrant violation of the commitments he had made, never had any intention of keeping his word and had been plotting a takeover and termination of Trump Hotels all along."

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.

Fintiklis said Panamanian authorities allowed him to take over the hotel's administration, claiming victory in a brief press conference with reporters, The Washington Post reported.

"Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country," Fintiklis said, adding that he was so impressed by the Panamanian legal system that he would seek citizenship in the country.

As he has during other moments in the standoff when he claimed victory, he played the piano in the hotel lobby.

"And now, as you guessed it, I will play the piano," he said before playing a traditional Greek, anti-fascist anthem that he sang along in Greek, The Post reported.

The Trump Organization decried Fintiklis' "mob-style" actions last week, calling them "pure thuggery."

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Have any additional details or tips on either the Panamanian standoff or Trump Organization? Contact this reporter at asmith@businessinsider.com.

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