USA warns banks about dirty CIP money

INDONESIA-BANK-RATE

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The United States government has put local banks on notice that it will be monitoring their activities to ensure that “dirty” money does not filter into the system through the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

Manager of an international bank, located in Antigua, told OBSEVER media that the banking fraternity has been warned that if caught accepting money from questionable sources, they run the risk of losing the services of corresponding banks in the United States.

“If we are found in breach, it means we will not be able to conduct business in the United States or any where else outside of the region,” the bank official said.

Antigua & Barbuda launched its Citizen by Investment programme late 2013 and, to date, only Syrian George Georges has been publicly seen to have obtained an Antigua & Barbuda passport for himself and his family.

The US has indicated that they consider monies from investors in certain countries to be linked to terrorism circles and transfer of this “dirty” money has to be stopped by all means.

The banks are particularly concerned that agents for people seeking citizenship in Antigua & Barbuda could circumvent the processes set up by the government to safeguard the initiative.

In March, a US Department of State Official confirmed that “America’s Justice Department is concerned about several citizens of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis who have bank accounts containing funds of up to eight figures – many more times more than they could earn by working at their trade or profession.”

According to a regional newspaper, the US has been concerned for some time with the St Kitts CIP programme and had raised the matter with the Basseterre government on more than one occasion. The US had even gone as far as sending its officials to discuss the issue with St Kitts authorities.

Reportedly, Canada had also done the same.

On Wednesday, St Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas touted his model of CIP as a sound one that Antigua & Barbuda could emulate.

Prime minister Gaston Browne is on record saying his administration will take the CIP Bill back to parliament to make adjustments.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

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22 thoughts on “USA warns banks about dirty CIP money

  1. So OMG likes to censor comments I see. When will Antigua come into the 21st century? It’s called FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!

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  2. The problem with CIP is that they can be “leakage” in the system for not only “dirty” money but those terrorists in disguise trying to get a second passport. And, we can’t afford to our local banks to be in jeopardy of losing services or even listed as a terrorist destination. Our island is too small and fragile to engage in CIP and I have said it before and will say it again…not a fan of CIP. And, the only reason to take back to Parliament is to make it “competitive.” It really don’t do much to grow the economy if the monies coming from the programme could be in question? Do you think that all the monies is going to the banks only? Politicians will get a cut or fund their election campaigns.

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  3. The US always wanna stick their nose in other people’s business. After they pay us what is rightfully ours then we can talk

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    -10Controversial!

    • Do you mean the “half of one percent victory” at the WTO? That award is for trade sanctions (The WTO doesn’t award cash). In order to collect, Antigua would need US$ 21 million annually in legal exports. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

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    • Been There Done That. July 7, 2014 at 16:44 - Reply

      What is “rightfully yours”? The tourism dollars? The money sent by people working in the US? The free foreign aid?

      Feel free to give that up any time!

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  4. you people need to realize that If the U.S. can sanction big banking companies like Barclays in Europe for aiding terrorist organizations, and other illicit groups in money laundering…what precautions should the Caribbean take?

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    • I would be cautious to not engage in aiding terrorists or money laundering. Ponzi schemes probably aren’t a good idea either.

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  5. @Reality…why? Would the same process, of quarantining be applied to the Wall Street, Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac fiascos or the Charles Keating – Savings & Loans meltdown or Bernie Madoff – Ripoffs OR the same Federal Shadow Policing Squad simply sends the CEO’s to their Country Club Resorts with a pat on their behind, while the American tax payers picks up the tab?

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    -11Hot Debate!

    • I think you hit the nail on the head mentioning that in most cases the US picks up the tab (FDIC for the S&L, SIPC for Madeoff). What insurance do the Stanford investors get? Maybe if Antigua can’t afford insurance, they shouldn’t be chartering and regulating banks.

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      • @Ex Expat…as, you are well aware, all banks should have Insurance which will cover their depositors. If Our Nation of Redonda, Barbuda & Antigua is allowing Financial Institutions to operate, without, the required Insurance for Banking or other Financial Institutions, be they, private or public, then I am in the wrong business, which is building homes.
        The R. Allen Stanford issue, has been a thorn in many individuals side, and the saga will not end, no time soon.

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        • I was hoping that a change in majority party in the Antiguan Government would have shaken loose the FSRC report, but it appears that there were members of both partied involved, otherwise we would have seen the report the day after elections.

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    • In the US banking and securities fraud is illegal. There are investigations, arrests, Trials and convictions.

      By that standard, ANTIGUA’s SIB was completely legal!

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  6. People need to know that the USA don’t care a damn about anybody. I am tired of living in poverty so to hell with the USA.

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    -14Controversial!

  7. WASHINGTONs of Money July 4, 2014 at 15:28 - Reply

    When it comes to the United States hypocrisy knows no bounds.
    It seems that anytime a so called “third world” country does anything to improve its economy flags go up in Washington.
    Please live and let live, just trying to supply basic human needs.

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    -17Controversial!

  8. FSRC could not have put Antigua back on the white list if the required and appropriate legislation had not been put in place. Hats off to the UPP administration for their hard work and commitment to improving Antigua’s compliance with international standards.

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    -17Controversial!

    • @GMoney. Really? What about the report into the FSRC that was so damming Spencer & Cort prevented its publication in direct contravention of Antigua’s freedom of Information Act?

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      • Are you talking about the reports from Mr. King? by the way reports come out of the FSRC they do not go in. If you are referring to Dr. Cort then you are going back over 6 years. Since then the board has changed and Antigua’s status has changed for the better. Maybe you would like to put Mr. King back in charge? He’s still here hiding from extradition.

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  9. Antiguan banks should have been quarantined from the world banking system after Antigua’s Stanford International Bank fraud.

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    -20Controversial!

  10. I am constantly amazed at how Journalists insert their views and opinions in news stories as opposed to a commentary. The tag line for the story suggests that funds invested under the CIP represents “dirty money”. That is not the case, and any concerns the US may have can be avoided by the due diligence checks conducted before the applicant is accepted under the programme.

    This is not to suggest that one or two persons may not “slip through” the system, but that happens in every country. Even the USA, with all their resources allowed the Boston Bombers to settle in America, and look what happened. No country and no system is perfect, but with due care and attention, the risk can be mitigated.

    Please focus on the positive, and the benefits to be derived from the CIP.

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  11. Tell the US to honour the WTO ruling then they can talk. Till then….”chat to we back” “ten way youself”.

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    -18Controversial!

  12. Mostly the US is concerned about US citizens trying to get citizenship to avoid paying US taxes. Several well known Americans have already denounced their US citizenship to avoid paying taxes.
    When the US decides to pay the monies owed and give more to help combat terrorism then we might consider being concerned what they have to say.
    The US should be reminded that the FSRC just got Antigua back on the white list for its diligence in compliance. Hats off to the FSRC for their hard work.

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  13. Greetings folks, it’s imperative, that you read, view and understand, Bill Moyer, one of Americas most respected journalist, regarding the American Government and private businesses.
    Then you will understand, how big businesses in North America are making their trillions, in profits from their foreign investments, coming from places like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria from the sale of oil and weapons.
    Bill Moyers, Shadow Government, will open your eyes, mind and senses to these facts, and their plan of attack.

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