Caribbean Nations to Protest Money Launderer Label

Money_Laundering_Caribbean2-resized

The Curaçao Chronicle reports that the 15-nation Caribbean community is angry at the United States for labeling most members of the regional trade bloc as money laundering jurisdictions and plans to mount a stiff lobbying effort in Washington, according to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque (shown below, left). He says that the United States’s listing of 14 member states in its 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report could have devastating effects on the region. (The only CARICOM member state not blacklisted by Washington is a British overseas territory, Montserrat.)

Most of the countries have economies heavily dependent on tourism and financial services such as offshore banking and economic citizenships. “I think these unilateral blacklistings are not helping anything,” he said, adding that “there ought to be some discussion and transparency on how these lists are arrived at.”

DSC_1093La Rocque spoke to AFP after the issue was discussed by CARICOM trade ministers at a two-day meeting in Guyana, on the northeast coast of South America. He said that when CARICOM foreign ministers meet in Barbados next month, they would prepare the groundwork to intensify regional lobbying efforts that individual member states have already begun in Washington. The only CARICOM member state not blacklisted by Washington was Montserrat, a British overseas territory.

La Rocque insisted CARICOM members comply with international norms for fighting money laundering.

[. . .] In recent years, a number of US commercial banks have cut relationships with some banks across the Caribbean in an effort to reduce the risk of being exposed to movement of dirty money across borders, as part of the global fight against money laundering and terror financing.

Listed as “major money laundering countries” in the INCS report are Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Other Caribbean territories and countries also labeled as money launderers in the US report are Aruba, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic and Saint Maarten. Also listed are Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and United Kingdom.

For original article, see http://curacaochronicle.com/economy/caribbean-nations-miffed-over-us-label-as-money-launderers/

[Image above is from a 2015 article, “Caribbean Nations Make US Money Laundering List,” http://www.newsamericasnow.com/caribbean-nations-make-us-money-laundering-list/.]

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