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 in a Friday news conference that he sent a letter to U.N. officials
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
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.