Owner and Managing Director of local financial consultancy company KAW Management, Kem Warner, said Antigua and its neighbours are too passive in combating the problem.
“Throughout the region, we are known to be too passive and are often reactive only when our backs are against the wall … We are quick to boast of laws and regulations implemented but fail to properly supervise the institutions we are supposed to regulate,” he said.
He made the observation at the sixth annual Anti-Money Laundering Counter Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Anti-fraud and Financial Crimes Conference in Antigua on July 14 and 15 at Sandals Grande Resort and Spa.
The conference is intended to provide an opportunity for networking with experts, decision makers and practitioners of the field. Professionals take part from both the financial and non-financial services industry, locally, regionally and internationally.
Speaking at the same conference, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Senator Maureen Payne-Hyman advised participants to stay ahead of the criminals.
“The methods by which individuals launder money and finance terrorism are inventive, and new trends are emerging. These criminals are finding creative and innovative ways to launder their money for criminal purpose. The only way that we, as a region, can keep up with them, is to educate ourselves and keep up to date and share developments, new strategies and our experiences,” she said.
Senator Payne-Hyman also stressed the importance of such an event given the shortcomings. She said, “This conference is not just timely, it is necessary to combat the surge of money laundering and financial crimes.”
KAW Management, in a news release, stated that Antigua & Barbuda is now being viewed differently, despite several attacks and advisories on our country, due to the magnitude of this event and the type of speakers who come from abroad.