In its 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report on money laundering and financial crimes, the US Department of State said that Antigua and Barbuda’s status stems from its offshore financial sector and Internet gaming industry.
“Illicit proceeds from the trans-shipment of narcotics and from financial crimes occurring in the United States are laundered in Antigua and Barbuda,” the report stated.
During the past year, it said the Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP) in Antigua had “compiled evidence that money laundering related to drug trafficking takes place through local financial institutions”.
According to the State Department, the ONDCP’s analysis shows 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 report said the funds involved include Eastern Caribbean dollars “traced to the sale of local property by at least one person US authorities identified as trafficking drugs through Antigua and Barbuda to US territory”.
It said funds also include “significant quantities of US currency found in bank safety deposit boxes” and that Internet gaming sites are considered to have a physical presence “when the primary servers and the key person are resident in Antigua and Barbuda”.
It said Antigua and Barbuda receives approximately US$2.8 million annually from license fees and other charges from the industry.
Reprinted from Caribbean360