April 15, 2000
Antigua supports U.N. initiative to counter money laundering

                   ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) -- 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

                   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.

                   Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.