Tag Archives: Money Laundering

Barbados Attorney Philip Vernon Nicholls arrested for Money Laundering, Theft of $675,000 from client real estate deal

Philip vernon nicholls attorney

Prominent Barbados attorney-at-law Philip Vernon Nicholls is free on $200,000 bail and will return to court on February 25, 2014 to face charges of money laundering and theft of $674,172.

The offenses are said to involve a foreign real estate client – a method of stealing money that seems all too prevalent amongst Bajan lawyers. (Check out some of BFP’s past stories on this topic: here, here, here, here, here, here and here – get the picture?)

In the past many Bajan lawyers bought their way out of similar theft charges. Until recently most of these complaints were dealt with internally by the Barbados Bar Association until the volume of thieving lawyers walking free so undermined the reputation of Bajan lawyers that the association and the police were forced to really do something. Still though, most lawyers end up buying their way out in a manner quite unavailable to ordinary thieves.

Nicholls has a long association with politicians, governments and government bodies including the Bees, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, insider David Shorey and the Barbados Cricket Association.

The money laundering charge is a first though and we look forward to learning the details about where the money ended up… Switzerland? Jersey? New York? Miami? I wonder if the public will be allowed to know the full details or if a deal will be made to allow another crooked Bajan lawyer to walk free.

Further Reading

Barbados Today: $200,000 bail for lawyer

Stabroek News: Bajan attorney charged with money laundering

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Tax Havens under fire in massive new leak of hidden offshore accounts

Caribbean-bank-money_laundering

Washing money, Hiding money

contributed by “M”

Unlike the mainstream media in Barbados which seems disinclined to report on the financial shenanigans of its politicians/public figures (except the $75,000.00 cheque), the media in Canada has no such hesitation, as seen at the attached link to CBC website.  Other major media in Canada are running with the story. While 38 media outlets around the world are probing the data leaks reported in the material reported in Canada by CBC, I do not expect to read about it in the Barbados papers.

Canadian CBC: Senator’s husband put $1.7M in offshore tax havens

Canadian CBC: 450 Canadians in offshore leak

Yahoo! Finance: Report exposes secrets of offshore tax havens

While Barbados does not figure prominently in this and related CBC articles, I think Barbados authorities should be concerned.

Barbados is the third largest recipient of Canadian outward Foreign Direct Investment, after the USA and the UK; with the principal industry being “financial services”, which I expect is mainly in “offshore” accounts. Canadians are believed to to be the largest depositors in Barbados offshore bank accounts.

It may well be the case that all of those a legal.

Notwithstanding, with the spotlight being shone on the issue of  “offshore accounts” and “tax havens”, and Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s pledge in last week’s budget the government will bolster its efforts to fight offshore tax evasion, including launching a new whistleblower line that pays rewards for tips, improving compliance programs and demanding more information on certain financial transactions; it seems likely that some Canadians “investors” will choose to repatriate their foreign direct investments to Canada rather than face the scrutiny for Canada Revenue Agency

Not Taken

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

Attention Finance Minister Sinckler: About those Donville Inniss US Corporations, Real Estate and Assets

How did Donville Inniss get cash to Florida to purchase this condo?

Finance Minister Sinckler assures: Barbados plays by the rules! (But does Minister Inniss?)

by Marcus & Shona

Barbados has this little problem right now. French, American and Canadian politicians are calling our country a “tax haven” and other names – which is actually their way of accusing Barbados of offering secret offshore banking to foreigners who don’t want to obey the tax laws of their own countries.

France and some others say we don’t obey the rules of international finance. (Joke on the side: How many French soldiers does it take to defend Paris? Answer: Nobody knows. The French have never tried to defend Paris.)

Our government is responding to the charges with an aggressive public relations campaign and a host of reciprocal information sharing agreements with other countries. We’ve also pledged to update financial legislation and to more effectively monitor international financial transactions.

Fair enough. The sea is changing so Barbados is setting out some different sails and adjusting the windage and the helm. Good. We’ll check the passenger manifest too, to ensure that everybody on board is someone we don’t mind sailing with. That’s only common sense when our survival depends upon the friendship of other countries. (“Friend of all, satellite of none.”)

This is serious business for Barbados, because as Minister Sinckler said the other day at a meeting at Cin Cin Restaurant (Look at the food! THE FOOD! YUM!!!)

“…the international business and financial services sector contributes upwards of 60 per cent of all corporate revenues in the country and, therefore, that is an important station for us and one that we seek to protect and, of course, guard very zealously.”

… Minister Sinckler quoted in the Barbados Today news story Leading by example

What about the international finances of Health Minister Donville Inniss?

Barbados Free Press is publishing a series of stories showing that Minister of Health Donville Inniss profited from the online porn industry. Our stories tell the truth even if the Barbados news media covers up and looks the other way. Minister Inniss knows that our stories are true so he hasn’t taken any steps to have the stories removed from WordPress where Barbados Free Press makes its home.

But now we get to the issue of money. How was Minister Inniss paid for his involvement with online porn companies? Was he a stakeholder in any company or was he providing a paid service to front the porn industry? Were any of his family members or friends acting as proxies?

We think we see some interesting discoveries on the internet…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Colman Commission ignoring the smell of dirty money?

Afra Raymond asks where the money came from in the first place

Auntie Moses says that all money has a smell. Honestly-earned money smells clean and dishonest money stinks to high heaven. If you put too much of that dirty money in your purse, you start to stink too. So says Auntie Moses and she’s generally correct about those kinds of ethical issues.

Our friend Afra Raymond has noticed a little problem over at the Colman Commission into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle. I’ll let Afra explain it…

“There also seems to be a strange situation on CL Financial, since I am told that none of the affected people are willing to come forward to testify.  I am not very surprised at that and it is yet another indication of the extent of that toxic ‘Code of Silence‘.

What a shame!  25,000 policyholders said to be affected by the failure of CL Financial, yet only one is willing to testify.  Only One!   I wrote before in this space about the probability that a high proportion of those EFPA monies had never been screened by rigorous Anti Money Laundering (AML) procedures.  I suggested to the Minister of Finance that provisions be made in the payout agreements for the applicants for bailout monies to have the source of their funds vetted for compliance with VAT, PAYE, Income and Corporation taxes.  The Minister did not adopt those proposals.

So, what we now have is the spectacle of the Colman Commission set up by the government to examine the causes of the collapse and finding that few want to speak, very few.  I don’t know if it’s dirty money, or ‘keeping it in the family‘ or what…but I do hope that Colman takes a robust approach by using his powers to sub-poena people to appear and testify.”

Read the whole dirty story at Afra Raymond Colman Commission considerations

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UK helps Barbados with damage control over tax transparency failure

International Community wants action, not promises

A new Barbados Government press release says that the United Kingdom will upgrade our country’s status with respect to the UK’s legislation on offshore non-compliance by U.K taxpayers, and petition the OECD to reconsider its recent report about Barbados that resulted in “highly prejudicial consequences”.

Last January the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) slapped Barbados upside the head for failing to comply with international standards for sharing tax information. The OECD review was part of a crackdown on money laundering and tax havens and found that Barbados “did not have legislation in place to fully share information on tax matters with international partners.”

See BFP’s January 28, 2011 article OECD: Barbados fails tax transparency standards

Barbados was once again sent to our room by the international community until we could behave ourselves and pass some laws and regulations like we agreed to do years ago but never got around to. So now that we’ve taken a few weeks and passed the new laws we’d like to come out and play with the others, and the UK is going to vouch for us.

This same scenario plays out once or twice a year in one form or another when the international community gets tired of all promises and no action. Last year Barbados was downgraded to a spot below Cambodia over our failure to fight human trafficking. This year it’s our failure to comply with international tax information standards. Next year it will be something else.

Laws? Standards? What you talking about?

You see, we Barbadians don’t like to pass laws or comply with outside standards. We like to make promises and statements of intent, but actually passing laws is another thing. Laws make it inconvenient for the ruling class to do whatever they want. That’s why the DLP won’t pass their promised Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws.

Unfortunately, while we Bajans understand our leaders making promises and then doing the opposite, the international community is less forgiving than the voters.

Moral of the story: After the OECD slapped us around, it took our government about two weeks to pass the required laws because the downgrade threatened our economy.

Too bad our government won’t act so quickly to pass Integrity Legislation,  Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest laws. Or Environmental Legislation.

Prime Minister Stuart could make those laws happen if he wanted to.

But he doesn’t want to.

Barbados Government Press Release Damage Control

British Government believes OECD Global Forum should review Barbados tax information-exchange finding as soon as possible Continue reading

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CARICOM Crime and Security Chief under investigation: Corruption, Fraud

Lynne Anne Williams accused of “Corruption, Misappropriation, hiring of unqualified staff, fraudulent accounting practices”

The Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Impacs) is headed by Lynne Anne Williams, who took over in September of 2009. She makes US$14,000 a month plus expenses, but that wasn’t enough so she created phony travel expense invoices and pocketed the money.

Anyone ever heard of “Darreyl’s Bungalow Short Term Accommodation” in Barbados? Nope. Me neither.

But Lynne Anne Williams stayed there and billed for it.

And that is nothing, just a flea bite compared with all the allegations we’re seeing in the Trini press. Yup, Williams; visited Barbados for a 20 day security meeting that never happened and she billed for the whole thing – right at Crop Over too. Must be a coincidence!

“This signifies a clear recognition by the Caribbean Community….of the danger that unchecked financial crime poses to our economic and political systems” said Lynne Anne Williams, the Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS.

Lynne Anne Williams speaking about money-laundering back in January 2011. What a joke!

Yup, it’s really hit the fan at IMPACS, and it’s not just Williams either. The allegations are flying and it’s not he-said, she-said stuff because copies of the phony invoices are in the hands of the newspapers.

So what will happen? Come on folks… you know what’s going to happen in the end. Lynne Anne Williams will quietly retire, no charges will be laid and it will all fade away. Because…

Our Assessment: Williams is guilty as hell, but will never be charged because before coming to IMPACTS she headed the Special Intelligence Agency for 14 years and nobody is going to mess with what she knows.

Who will watch the watchers? Continue reading

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No charges or jail for Barbados diplomats who stole US$69,000 – transferred to Miami personal bank account!

UPDATED: March 14, 2013

The Nation is reporting Auditor General Leigh Trotman just advised Parliament that ““There was no supporting documentation for accounts receivable of $600 million. There were also inadequate supporting schedules in respect of capital assets of $1.8 billion,”

BFP reminds everyone that it doesn’t matter what our Auditor General says because nobody gets charged or fired anyway – no matter how clear the evidence is against them. Here’s a little news story from 2011 where some Bajan diplomats stole money and transferred it to personal bank accounts in Miami. What happened to these crooked diplomats?

Nothing. That’s what!

Original story…

“But just let the little man take $20 in groceries and see what happens…”

It’s called theft and international money laundering…

Our congratulations to Auditor General Leigh Trotman and his staff for uncovering a nasty little scheme by Bajan diplomats stationed in Venezuela.

Two crooks at the embassy falsely said that monies were being used for embassy business when the only thing going on was monkey business. The funds ended up in Miami through a magical process that is not altogether unknown to Bajan diplomatic elites.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Politics, Venezuela

Breaking: Brother of former Turks and Caicos Finance Minister arrested for Crown lands fraud, money laundering

TCIpost Reports…

Earl Hall, the brother of former Turks and Caicos Minister of Finance Floyd Hall (photo above) has just been released on bail by the UK anti-corruption investigators.

The TCIpost is breaking the story and reporting that Earl Hall will face numerous charges including defrauding the government on the sale of Crown land and money laundering.

Someone actually charged with corruption offenses? How unusual!

Of course Earl Hall is presumed innocent until proven guilty and he will have his day in court – but that is a different story than in Barbados where we don’t have trials for corruption. In Barbados when elected or appointed public officials or their family members are found to be engaged in corrupt activities, the politicians will trade some insults in the press or in Parliament but no one is charged. Ever.

That’s the rules here. No charges. Ever. We’ve seen all kinds of incidents where Barbados government assets mysteriously end up in private hands, where politicians place “campaign donations” into their personal bank accounts and where the United States FBI complains to the Prime Minister about money laundering by government officials and that file somehow went missing. Never any charges though.

Here at Barbados Free Press we’ve even posted photos of a Minister of Government building a home with his mistress on land that his government expropriated and never paid for. How did that work out? The government and the opposition ignored it, as did the Barbados news media.

Nobody wanted to throw rocks while living in a glass house and all that.

So as we watch the events unfold in the Turks and Caicos, we are reminded that Barbados government officials shouldn’t be too smug. If we hadn’t become an independent country, the UK anti-corruption investigators would be on our doorstep too. But it’s our country so our corrupt politicians don’t have to worry about that.

Sleep tight boys and girls in Barbados Parliament. You have nothing to worry about because the rules still apply: No charges. Ever.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

OECD: Barbados fails tax transparency standards

Review part of crackdown on money laundering & tax havens

Measures on tax transparency in Barbados still do not meet international standards, according to The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, hosted by the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“In studies of 10 countries released on Thursday, it found that Barbados, the Seychelles, San Marino and Trinidad and Tobago did not have legislation in place to fully share information on tax matters with international partners.”

Reuters Africa story: Barbados, San Marino, others still not tax transparent

Further Reading

OECD Global Forum on Transparency

January 27, 2011 Information Brief (PDF)

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments

Wikileaks to soon put Caribbean Money Laundering Laws to the test

Cayman bank account info to go on WikiLeaks as CARICOM announces Anti-Money Laundering Deal

“Stopping money laundering in Barbados would be like cutting our own throats.”

Two money laundering news items arrived in our in-basket today from different sources, and when we put them together we thought, “Hey, synchronicity!” See? I was awake in school at least on one day. (Actually, I was awake most days because I didn’t want to get a stick across the knuckles from Mr. W.)

Thanks to one of our old friends in Manitoba Canada (brrrrrr!!!!! Youbee, come on home for February!) we know that Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer is going to hand over bank data to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 2000 people who have money parked offshore in the Caymans.

Barbadian Politicians on the list? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, CARICOM, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Offshore Investments

Breaking News: Barbadian Victor Bourne, mother Maria Alleyne Bourne, charged in massive cocaine smuggling via American Airlines

Other Barbadians involved “Arrests not over”

- US Indictments in massive money laundering and drug smuggling through Barbados.

- US$300+ million dollar profits being seized by US Government

- “Bourne Organization” kingpin Victor D’Acosta Bourne used violence, threats against witnesses, airport workers, debtors, dealers

- American Airlines personnel involved in smuggling tons of drugs over a 10 year period. Ships also used.

- Drugs came from Caribbean where “Bourne Organization” members placed drugs on American Airlines flights “throughout the Caribbean” including Barbados.

- Brooklyn and Barbados businesses used as cover for smuggling, distribution, money laundering.

Drugs are big business and that reality is no different in Barbados – which now finds itself the focus of worldwide attention in the fight against organized crime.

With only three persons charged, but allegations of a multi-country conspiracy heavily based in Brooklyn and Barbados, there have to be some other very worried folks in Barbados right now. We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars, tons of drugs and violence by a criminal organization that has tentacles “throughout the Caribbean”, according to the US Attorney’s office.

Is this related to the Suleman Esuf case? Continue reading

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US “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” Names & Targets Barbados – Has David Thompson Actually Read The Legislation?

BARBADOS’ Prime Minister David Thompson said he does not believe that Legislation tabled recently in the United States Congress to deal with offshore tax havens is targeting jurisdictions like Barbados…

“I want to say that despite the strong feelings about that piece of legislation, it did not seem to us that it was aimed at jurisdictions like Barbados,” the Prime Minister told the function organised by Invest Barbados, this country’s leading business promotion agency…

… from the Barbados Advocate article Barbados Is Safe!

Internal Revenue Service Barbados

U.S. Internal Revenue Service Names Barbados As A “Secrecy Jurisdiction”

According to David Thompson, Barbadians have nothing to worry about when it comes to the new American “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”. You see, the Prime Minister “feels” that the legislation is not aimed at jurisdictions like Barbados.

Perhaps Prime Minister Thompson had better read the American legislation and speak with the authors — who originally included a Senator named Barack Obama — because unlike David Thompson, those authors and the Internal Revenue Service “feel” that Barbados is an offshore secrecy jurisdiction and tax haven and they have said so in writing.

Senator Carl Levin Tax HavenYou don’t have to believe me, or Prime Minister Thompson. Just go to the website of President Obama’s partner pushing the legislation, United States Senator Carl Levin, and download it for yourself. (US Senator Carl Levin: Senate, House Members Introduce Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act – and here is his website: Senator Carl Levin Website)

The act includes a list of 34 jurisdictions identified in Internal Revenue court proceedings and Barbados is number five on that list of targeted jurisdictions. Again, you don’t have to believe me, you can read it for yourself (and frankly you won’t read it in any Barbados news media) Here is an excerpt…

‘‘(E) INITIAL LIST OF OFFSHORE SECRECY JURISDICTIONS.

For purposes of this paragraph, each of the following foreign jurisdictions, which have been previously and publicly identified by the Internal Revenue Service as secrecy jurisdictions in Federal court proceedings, shall be deemed listed by the Secretary as an offshore secrecy jurisdiction unless delisted by the Secretary under subparagraph (F)(ii):

(i) Anguilla.
(ii) Antigua and Barbuda.
(iii) Aruba.
(iv) Bahamas.
(v) Barbados.
(vi) Belize.
(vii) Bermuda.
(viii) British Virgin Islands.
(ix) Cayman Islands… (and 25 other jurisdictions)”

… From the (PDF) “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”

Why Should The United States Trust Barbados?

If you take emotion, patriotism and sheer will to survive out of your normal Bajan reaction to the US anti-tax haven legislation, you must admit that Barbados neatly fits the definition of both a “secrecy jurisdiction” and a “tax haven”. As well as the United States, both Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have named Barbados as a recognised “tax haven”.

What defines a “tax haven” and “secrecy jurisdiction”?  If you read the US and Canadian government reports and other materials freely available on the internet, you’ll see that a big part of that definition concerns what a “tax haven” is MISSING in terms of controls, oversight, transparency and rule of law. These missing structures allow what President Obama defines as “tax haven abuse”.

How About Barbados’ Controls, Oversight, Transparency and Rule of Law?

Ahhhh…. not so good….

Successive Barbados governments have failed to implement even the most basic controls and oversight over offshore corporations and government officials, so why should the United States remove our country from the list of secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens targeted by the new legislation?

Let’s look at some of the mitigating qualities for “good” offshore jurisdictions that might make Senator Levin and his colleagues reconsider placing Barbados on the list…

* Transparency of operations through Freedom of Information Legislation?

(NO! – Barbados doesn’t have FOI legislation or a culture of transparency and accountability. We were promised FOI, but it never came. As for transparency, Barbados does not hold inquests into deaths even when an entire family is wiped out . The elites are protected at all costs. )

* Oversight over Corporations?

(NO! - Barbados has a record of failing to provide sufficient oversight and accountability when it comes to corporations. Corporations are allowed to get away with refusing to file financial information as required by law. When the current Prime Minister was a practicing lawyer, some of his big corporate clients like CLICO failed to file required information and he didn’t care. Not to mention the fact that many government-owned corporations have failed to account as per law. Heck, even the Chief Justice of Barbados doesn’t file proper corporate documents for 13 years and gets away with it!)

* Integrity Legislation, Conflict of Interest Laws for Government Officials?

bribery.jpg(NO! Barbados has no integrity legislation, conflicts of interest rules or a Ministerial Code! The current DLP Government promised to implement all this within the first 100 days, but that was almost a year and a half ago. Unbelievably, in Barbados it is still legal for a government official (elected or appointed) to issue a government contract to a company owned by the government official or their immediate family! See: Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit)

* Corporate Records Requirements?

(NO! Barbados has consistently failed to compel Barbados corporations to adhere to the law. It is not unusual for records to go missing – even government records – if it is convenient to some of the elites. Even government-owned corporations don’t file records as per the law! Here are some examples of failed oversight regarding corporate records keeping5: Gymnasium Limited, GEMS Hotels, CGI Consumers’ Guarantee Insurance Company, and CLICO for a start.

* Requirement To List Beneficial Shareholders of Corporations?

(NO! According to the International Monetary Fund Country Report No. 09/19, (link shows all IMF reports) Barbados law does not require the disclosure of beneficial shareholders of corporations. While the Registrar of Companies maintains a register with information on directors and registered offices of companies, there is no legislative requirement to disclose beneficial ownership information. Many Barbados foreigner-owned offshore corporations are “fronted” by Bajans, but the corporate records are kept in another jurisdiction, while the money flows to another jurisdiction like Panama or the Caymans. The true owners of the corporations remain hidden by Barbados law!

IMF Barbados Corruption

The IMF report also talks about corruption and bribery and other serious offences not being illegal…

“Barbados has criminalized money laundering (ML) broadly in compliance with international standards. However, while the definition of unlawful activity allows for a wide array of serious predicate offenses, human trafficking, corruption and bribery are not totally consistent with the requirements of the Palermo Convention.”

See the – PDF – IMF Country Report No. 09/19, January 2009)

* Rule of Law?

(NO! Successive Barbados governments have consistently shown that the “Rule of Law” means “We enforce laws when convenient to do so for our purpose and agenda.” Prime Minister Thompson declared that previous government officials stashed millions in foreign bank accounts, yet no action was taken against them. Rapists with money are allowed to buy their way out of criminal charges. THAT says everything about how Barbados views the wider societal importance of Rule of Law.)

* Effective Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement?

(NO! First, as the IMF report above points out, Barbados lacks the laws necessary to curtail bribery and conflicts of interest. Second, as the IMF report points out – the anti-money laundering authorities in Barbados haven’t really done anything! Left unsaid is that the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority hasn’t really done anything, but the government took the international funding anyway. Naturally… :-)

The most telling indicator of how the Government of Barbados views money-laundering, tax evasion and other international financial shenanigans though, is the fact that our country had to admit that the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority Acted Illegally and Without Authority For Two Years.

The government only fixed things up retroactively after the story broke on a Barbados blog! – See Keltruth Corp’s article Does the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) Really Exist?)

Lack Of ITAL (Integrity, Transparency & Accountability Legislation) Is A Root Cause Of American Legislation Targeting Barbados

PM Thompson Lied About ITAL

PM Thompson Lied About ITAL

Successive Barbados governments, including the current DLP Thompson government, have deliberately refused to implement integrity reforms because doing so would limit their ability to profit from their public offices. Period.

By their actions and inactions, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley, David Thompson and dozens of other political elites placed Barbados squarely in the target sights of the Obama administration’s “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”.

How fitting that if Barbados finally does implement ITAL, it will be because the corrupt politicians were finally dragged kicking and screaming to do something decent for the country – by the first black President of the United States of America.

Further Reading Continue reading

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Government Admits Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority Acted Illegally and Without Authority For Two Years

International Embarrassment For Barbados

For over two years, personnel of the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) illegally shared confidential financial, banking and other information with law enforcement agencies and governments around the world. Just one little problem: AMLA personnel had no legal authority to do what they did.

AND THAT, my friends, means that Barbados AMLA personnel committed crimes. Lots of ‘em – at least one for every time they transferred or received certain information.

According to a Barbados Advocate article, the Government of Barbados today proposed legislation to retroactively make the illegal AMLA acts “legal” – AND GET THIS – “and all matters purported to have been done under that Act shall be deemed to have been lawfully and validly performed and done as if the Authority had been lawfully and validly appointed…”

“Purported” ???

The Owen Arthur BLP Government Took The Foreign Aid Money But Failed To Legally Establish AMLA

According to the legislation proposed by the current Barbados Government, the AMLA personnel were operating illegally from August 1, 2006 to September 14, 2008 (both dates inclusive). In 2006, Owen Arthur was Prime Minister. The BLP Government had several Attorneys General with the last being Dale Marshall who famously failed to pass the required legislation to make the new $300 million Dodds Prison “official” – thus delaying its occupancy by inmates. Mia Mottley was also Attorney General under Owen Arthur. In August 2001, then Attorney General David Simmons (now Chief Justice) delivered the feature address at the launch of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

Each one of the BLP Attorneys General had the responsibility for AMLA but it seems that the government fouled up in August of 2006 and the unit operated without legal authority until September 15, 2008 – some eight months into the new DLP government of David Thompson.

One can hardly blame the current DLP government for failing to immediately realize that a government agency they inherited was operating without legal authority to do so. There is, however, the matter of all the money that the USA has provided to Barbados to establish and operate the Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

And there is a case to be made that, as with the European Union sugar subsidies, Barbados took the AMLA funding from the USA and then spent it on something else…

Did A Blog Article Set Off American or Barbados Government Alarm Bells?

On February 16, 2009 the Keltruth Corp’s Barbados Money Laundering and Offshore Business Advisory blog published a story that asked Does the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority Really Exist?

This excellent piece of investigative journalism made the astounding observation “I can find a little evidence to suggest that AMLA is fully operational or even that it exists…”

Barbados Free Press picked up on the article and stated…

But guess what friends? AMLA doesn’t pass the smell test for being a real and operational government entity!

Our bet… AMLA is nothing but a paper shell operating out of the Financial Intelligence Unit and is not a stand-alone organisation with independent staff as mandated and pretended by the Barbados Government.

Why would they pull off that fast one? For the U.S. aid money, of course!

Shhhhhh…. doan be tellin the US Embassy, Ok? (Original BFP story - Report: Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority A Phony Shell – Doesn’t Really Exist!)

Judging by the legislation put forward today to “legalize” the past illegal acts of Anti-Money Laundering Authority personnel, the folks at Keltruth Corp.  may have raised the alarm with their February 2009 report.

While we hardly expect the Barbados or American governments to admit that an article on a blog had anything to do with this latest legislation, at the very least the legislation shows that Keltruth Corp. was spot on with their doubts about the legitimacy of the Barbados Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

Well done, Keltruth Corp!

Further Reading

Here is the article from the Barbados Advocate so it will be available in full after it is pulled from the internet by the paper… Continue reading

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New York Times Editorial Reflects Growing US Assault On Offshore Banking – What Should Barbados Do?

The Swiss and Their Secrets

A New York Times editorial is calling upon the United States government to reject any deal with Switzerland that would let 52,000 American citizens off the hook for having unreported Swiss bank accounts. This “get tough” attitude is reflected in many American media articles and mirrors the long-standing position of President Obama — who sponsored anti-offshore banking legislation long before he became president.

Barbados government officials have always talked a good game when it comes to transparency, accountability and monitoring of Barbados offshore corporations and international banks, but increasingly the United States is calling upon foreign governments like Barbados to open their records for US inspection — which of course destroys much of the attraction of offshore financial centers.

As economies come under increasing pressure there will be more calls to rein in offshore financial centers from real or imagined misdeeds as the developed nations fight to retain their tax base.

What Can Barbados Do To Avoid The Wrath Of Developed Countries?

As we have pointed out from the day we published our first article over three years ago, Barbados does not have any integrity legislation, transparency laws or conflicts of interest regulations. Barbados corporations are routinely allowed to violate existing laws regarding records keeping and public accountability, and the government itself is one of the worst violators of corporate reporting laws for companies in which it has an interest.

All of this sends the wrong signals to the United States, Canada and other countries that have expressed concern over our offshore financial and corporate industries. It is a shame that the DLP and David Thompson lied about their promise to implement ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation.

As Switzerland is discovering, chickens do come home to roost when it is most inconvenient.

Further Reading

NYT: The Swiss and Their Secrets


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Mottley Family’s Miami Mansions – Were Real Estate Profits Declared In Barbados? How Did A Million U.S. Dollars Get To Florida?

mottley-mansion-miami

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory Uses Freedom Of Information To Investigate USA Real Estate Holdings Of Mottley Family

It looks to us like Opposition Leader Mia Mottley’s parents have made hundreds of thousands of American dollars profits in the Miami and Florida real estate market over the years.

Good for them!

mia-mottley-floridaBarbados Money Laundering Advisory has been doing some digging under the freedom of information in the United States. We wonder what else and who else they have come up with.

Did BLP Members Declare Florida Real Estate Profits?

Where Did The Million US Dollars Come From?

All we want to know is… were the Miami real estate profits properly declared by the BLP bigwigs over the years? One would hope so because the online Florida real estate and corporation records go back 30 years and ANYONE can search for any name for free!

And how did that million dollars get to Florida in the first place? Hmmmmmm…. I wonder if it passed through some offshore bank account?

Hmmmmmm…. this could prove to be an interesting hobby for Bajans: typing in names into the Florida real estate databases.

Visit Barbados Money Laundering Advisory for the whole story and then let’s all have some fun with databases!

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Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions in Barbados, Called “Worst Regulator” By OffshoreAlert

barbados-insurance-belgrave-500

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”

… from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

IMF Says Barbados Insurance Sector Needs “Tighter Regulation” – No Kidding!

The chaos surrounding the Barbados financial and insurance company called CLICO is in full swing so the International Monetary Fund – IMF – feels obliged to tell us that our insurance industry needs “tighter regulation”. (Hey, thanks for the tip IMF! We’d have never known without you.) Next the IMF will be telling us to take a closer look at Sir Allen Stanford.

Perhaps if the IMF staff could have torn themselves away from their duck pate and champagne back in 2007 they would have seen that Carlos Belgrave, Barbados Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions, was named “Worst Regulator” by OffshoreAlert.

Apparently OffshoreAlert was most impressed by Belgrave’s staunch support of three Barbados insurance companies that faked their books and had owners previously convicted of fraud. Not to mention that Belgrave approved and licensed the companies when other countries had turned them down.

IMF Report Talks Of Potential For Bank Failure In Barbados?

Our friends over at Barbados Money Laundering Advisory have published an excellent article about the IMF and Offshore Alert reports AND they seem to think that the IMF report also talks about another potential failure of a Barbados bank. Scary times we are living in.

barbados-offshorealert

Hello KYC & OffshoreAlert!

KYC – Know Your Client – is an investigative organisation dedicated to exposing financial crime wherever it is found. OffshoreAlert! is one of its newsletters. The organisation is run by journalist David Marchant out of Miami, Florida. Marchant has an impressive track record and was even kicked out of Bermuda by the government of the day in retaliation for his work. Somehow, I don’t think that Mr. Marchant would be made too welcome by the Barbados government either!

We’ve made a decision to publish a part of Mr. Marchant’s work to illustrate to our readers just how capable and fearless he is. We also think that this little sample will convince many people of the value of subscribing to OffshoreAlert! and of attending their next conference in Miami Beach, Florida this April. (As a side-note to Mr. Marchant, if you have any problem with us publishing this excerpt, please email us. Thanks!)

Here’s what OffshoreAlert discovered in 2006 about Chris Belgrave – Barbados Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions…

OffshoreAlert Awards – Best & Worst of 2006

KYC News, Inc., January 7, 2007

Worst Regulator
Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions, in Barbados

OffshoreAlert had occasion to investigate three Barbados insurers in 2006, namely Strategy Insurance Limited, Reliant Insurance SCC and River Reinsurance Limited. The first two are part of a Canada-based group whose insiders have included three people convicted of fraud-related offenses, while the third, which has a business relationship with the Canada group, is partly-owned by two Bermuda-based businessmen who are currently under investigation for securities fraud in the United States and only sought an insurance license in Barbados after being turned down in Bermuda. If all that was not warning enough for Belgrave, Strategy Insurance Limited’s parent, which trades as a penny stock in the United States, disclosed that the insurer had been carrying 104 million of non-existent capital on its books for 11 months. The capital had once existed, according to the firm, but it was allegedly illegally transferred out of the company by unnamed shareholders, rendering the entire group insolvent.

Instead of pulling Reliant’s license and despite there being no change of control or management, Belgrave allowed Reliant to continue in business by approving replacement capital with a face value of $518 million that consisted of nothing more substantial than a loan note issued by a newly-formed Panama firm that was secured by “bearer peat certificates representing the right to obtain peat, a pre-coal state organic material used as energy or for horticultural use, from the Changuinola Peat Deposit of Northwestern Panama”.

When OffshoreAlert contacted Belgrave, he farcically claimed that he was legally prohibited from even having a general discussion about the Barbados Insurance Act, let commenting on individual companies. Belgrave declined to impart any information about his professional background and qualifications so we did our own research and found that, prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”, according to its promotional material. When we found out that Belgrave is currently the ‘Third Vice-President’ of the U.S.-based International Association of Insurance Fraud Agencies Inc., we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Further Reading

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory: Bajan Banks and Insurance Companies Inadequately Supervised

KYC News – Offshore Alert: Website Link

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UPDATED: Stanford Trying To Flee USA! US Federal Authorities: Allen Stanford Money-Laundering For Drug Cartels

Sticky Wicket! Sir Allen Stanford Under US Federal Drug Investigation

Sticky Wicket! Allen Stanford - US Federal Drug Investigation

UPDATE – February 19, 2009

Various sources are reporting that as late as last night, Stanford was seen trying to flee the USA in a chartered jet bound for Antigua but was refused because the charter company wouldn’t take his credit card. (TelegraphUK: Sir Allen Stanford’s ‘attempted flight’ thwarted as credit card refused)

Original Article…

Allen Stanford’s office and banking buildings on Antigua were constructed conveniently close to the airport. According to the local rumour, certain aircraft didn’t have to clear customs in exactly the same manner as most others. It looks like there might be something to the rum-shop stories…

United States federal authorities are putting out the word that as well as the Ponzi-scheme fraud charges, Sir Allen might be facing the music for money-laundering for a Mexican drug cartel and bribing public officials. Apparently the investigation has been going on “for some time” and one of Stanford’s aircraft was seized while transporting drug money.

Meanwhile, American politicians all the way up to the very top are quickly saying “We had no idea!” No less personages than former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator John McCain are on video gushing wonderful things about Allen Stanford. Well, they said nice things up until the past week or so anyway!

At the time of this writing, Stanford is on the run. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t want to put my money on Stanford’s chances if he doesn’t surrender soon.

The U.S. Marshalls are not the only organisation that is hunting Sir Allen.

Further Reading

ABC News: Accused Financier Under Federal Drug Investigation

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, John McCain, Offshore Investments, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption