WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Antigua – Welcomes Careful Money Launderers

Money LaunderingA hard-hitting report by the US Department of State has headlined Antigua & Barbuda as a major money laundering jurisdiction.

In its annual report to Congress "The 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report" the Department of State catalogues the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in the previous year. Volume I addresses drug and chemical control activities. Volume II, which names Antigua & Barbuda, records money laundering and financial crimes.

Volume II states, "Antigua and Barbuda is a significant offshore center that, despite recent improvements, remains susceptible to money laundering due to its offshore financial sector and Internet gaming industry.
Illicit proceeds from the transhipment of narcotics and from financial crimes occurring in the United States are laundered in Antigua and Barbuda.



During the past year, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP) compiled evidence that money laundering related to drug trafficking takes place through local financial institutions.

The ONDCP's analysis shows both that criminals abuse the system and financial institutions, in some instances, fail to apply sufficiently rigorous due diligence in relation to transactions that should be seen as questionable.

The funds involved include Eastern Caribbean dollars traced to the sale of local property by at least one person U.S authorities identified as trafficking drugs through Antigua and Barbuda to U.S. territory. Funds also include significant quantities of U.S. currency found in bank safety deposit boxes.

Domestic casinos are required to incorporate as domestic corporations. Internet gaming companies are required to incorporate as international business corporations (IBCs), and as such are required to have a physical presence.

Internet gaming sites are considered to have a physical presence when the primary servers and the key person are resident in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) receives approximately $2,800,000 per year from license fees and other charges related to the Internet gaming industry.

A nominal free trade zone in the country seeks to attract investment in areas the GOAB deems priority. Casinos and sports book-wagering operations in Antigua and Barbuda's free trade zone are supervised by the ONDCP and the Directorate of Offshore Gaming.

DO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ENGAGE IN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING THAT INCLUDE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF US CURRENCY; CURRENCY DERIVED FROM ILLEGAL SALES IN THE U.S.; OR THAT OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE U.S.: YES

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 102: January 1 – November 7, 2012
Number of CTRs received and time frame: 591: January 1 – November 7, 2012

STR covered entities: Banks, agricultural credit institutions, money exchangers, notaries, gaming centers, and securities dealers.

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 3 in 2012
Convictions: 3 in 2012
The GOAB should continue to work on strengthening all provisions of its AML/CFT legislation and enforcement."

Of course, locally, there are attempts by various parties to devalue this serious report claiming that it is based on old data and Antigua has moved on significantly in the twelve months since then to embrace modern professional standards of practise.

Making statements is one thing - behaviour and real action is another.

The former Financial Services regulator embroiled in the great Stanford money laundering matter has still not been extradited.

As reported in the 10th Report to Congress, the Half Moon Bay owners have not received one penny for the "nationalization/expropriation" of their property.

The newly initiated Citizenship by Investment Program is shrouded in secrecy regarding its applicants and the financial arrangements developed between them and the Office of the Prime Minister through which the Program is funnelled.

While the Attorney General can be heard to say in Antigua's Parliament, that "Antigua & Barbuda, in the scheme of things in respect of terrorism activity and money laundering is not really a high-profile country", public perception of the "small country" is also quite another matter.


An ever increasing number of popular authors now routinely use Antigua & Barbuda as their destination of choice for money laundering activity and transfer point for very dirty funds. More and more books by James Grippando, Christopher Reich, David Baldacci, Brad Thor, to name a few, regularly use St. John's in Antigua for settings of corrupt banking deals. "Our Kind of Traitor" by John Le Carre takes place primarily in Antigua. Tom Clancy's "Command Authority", links Antigua's banking practices to Russian organised crime and State corruption.

There is no doubt that, by virtue of also being his last work, Clancy's "Command Authority" is going to remain on the best-seller list for quite some time.

Whilst acknowledging their stories are fiction, these top authors are globally renowned for their accuracy of research – and their influence on the perception of a wide variety of readers creates an indelible impression, which is hard to refute.

Despite the latest FATFA report, surprisingly grey-washing Antigua & Barbuda, being a known money laundering capital of the world will inevitably attract tourists.

Not the ones frightened away by the increasing gun, knife and recent machete crime but those seeking the benefits of the Citizenship by Investment Program, bearer shares, fugitives from justiceand ineffective regulation.

It shall be seen whether any legitimate foreign direct investment will follow suit.

Caveat emptor, investors!

Ian Moncrief-Scott

Hits: 2112

11 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

Cedar

#11 Curious » 2014-03-25 10:57

You're missing the point. Nobody is looking to invest on Mars. Meanwhile, the international public's perception of Antigua is one of corruption, shady deals, dirty money and maladministration. Not a good formula for legitimate FDI , which, like it or not, is the basis for Antigua's economy.
2
0
+
−

Curious

...as compared to?

#10 Jumbee Picknee » 2014-03-25 00:10

Our laundry machines are miniscule in comparison to those found in States like Arizona, Nevada, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Florida.
The only clean money in America is still on the press...
1
4
+
−

Jumbee Picknee

RE: Antigua – Welcomes Careful Money Launderers

#9 Just Saying » 2014-03-24 20:21

Anyone with an internet connection can easily determine that Antigua is about the last place you would want to put legitimate money. Just look at how the Government's henchmen from Grant Thornton are selling out the SIB victims!
4
0
+
−

Just Saying

@ curious

#8 Cedar » 2014-03-24 09:30

I searched "What writers of fiction novels use Mars as a location for corrupt financial transactions?" and recieved 2.5 million results. So using the Google logic of the poster "curious" we now know that Mars is about 5 times more corrupt than Antigua. Who woulda thought.....
5
3
+
−

Cedar

@Analyst

#7 Way to go » 2014-03-24 09:22

Brilliant analysis .... If you don't like the message, attack the messengers!
5
1
+
−

Way to go

Who is Ian Moncrief-Scott?

#6 Analyst » 2014-03-24 08:29

This guy Ian is the SOB who worked with the Half Moon Bay people, who attempted to get more for Half Moon Bay Hotel than it is worth. You see, he would stand to benefit. He is angry that the Courts have ruled in favour of the Government, despite his efforts to blacklist the State.

It is unfortunate that the publisher permitted him a platform to continue his blacklisting of Antigua and Barbuda despite the favourable reports from all of the experts in the FATF, OECD and CATF. Sour Grapes!
5
8
+
−

Analyst

RE: Antigua – Welcomes Careful Money Launderers

#5 Curious » 2014-03-24 08:12

I asked Google "What writers of fiction novels use Antigua as a location for corrupt financial transactions?", and received 597,000 results. Not all are a direct answer to the question, but the number of references is still staggering
5
3
+
−

Curious

Address the Issue

#4 Gripe water » 2014-03-24 08:04

Tenman, I know it hurts you to be posting this evidence now, since it's the saving grace of your bitterness, and saves your Crime Bosses from further scrutiny. We had a chat some time ago, I know your political DNA, we spoke recently, I know that if the report was adverse you would be the first to publicize it , so it's amazing that your views are contrary to the writers criticism. Your Crime Bosses are not absolved from responsibility, address the issue.
9
3
+
−

Gripe water

Shrouded in Political Mystery

#3 Gripe water » 2014-03-24 07:46

The ONDCP can never locate the Biggest Ripoffs and money laundering of former ALP ministers. The emphasis is airways on Narcotic Trafficking but what about Political Shenanigans, nothing much is ever heard about the
Political **s, the former Bosses of Antigua Political Crime Syndicate. ONDCP is unable to address these issue, they never do! I guess they are all **s, and the writer is correct, everything is shrouded in political mystery.
10
2
+
−

Gripe water

Double standards...

#2 Julian » 2014-03-24 06:47

I get so **ed off with the great US of frickin' A's bullying tactics. Stop meddling in other people's/country's affairs & get your own house in order. You seem to take great pleasure in destabilizing small countries such as ours, you take away our capabilities to create employment in the gaming industry simply to bolster your own coffers for your precious IRS, then, when judgements go against you such as WTO decision, you choose to ignore them.
Credit, where credit is due...we here in A&B are trying to comply with the money laundering issues & have had great success as the report states in the submission from Tenman.
5
6
+
−

Julian

bitterness

#1 tenman » 2014-03-24 06:02

It must have hurt this writer when he read that Antigua & Barbuda is among jurisdictions which are no longer subject to the FATF’s on-going global AML/CFT compliance process (14 February 2014):
Quote:
The FATF welcomes Antigua and Barbuda’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Antigua and Barbuda has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in February 2010. Antigua and Barbuda is therefore no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Antigua and Barbuda will work with CFATF as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its mutual evaluation report.
12
7
+
−

tenman

Add comment

Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinion Pieces

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!