Global Policy Forum

Antigua Supports UN Initiative to

Associated Press
April 15, 2000

St. John's, Antigua - The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda pledged its support for a U.N. initiative to counter money laundering by increasing communication and monitoring transactions, Attorney General Errol Cort said. Cort said in a Friday news conference that he sent a letter to U.N. officials to pledge the government's commitment to the principles of the agreement reached at a March conference in the Cayman Islands. The U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention has promised to provide technical, advisory and legal assistance, he said.

The new initiative encourages banks to get to know customers' transactions so they can notice any irregularities and promotes a freer flow of information, especially in the usually secretive offshore banking industry. There are no sanctions for failure to comply with the initiative. "We are of the view that in order to develop a well and highly respected international financial sector we must ensure that our jurisdiction is not tainted with any accusation of money laundering," Cort said during a news conference Friday.

Antigua and Barbuda has been working for a year to remove U.S. and British advisories against its offshore banks. The U.S. and British governments advised banks to scrutinize all transactions from Antiguan offshore banks, saying they are worried that such transfers are being used by money launderers.


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