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? …
No word yet if any of these 2000 money launderers or tax-evaders are Barbados politicians, but we can’t hardly wait to see the list! Mr. Elmer has revealed that the data involves “multimillionaires, international companies and hedge funds from countries including the United States, Germany and Britain” and that it comes from three Cayman banks.
Mr. Elmer used to be in charge of Julius Baer in the Cayman Islands until he was fired in 2002. He’s going on trial in Switzerland this week for breaching bank secrecy laws.
Will Barbados do anything about this data?
Now we get to the synchronicity: the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFTAF) just put out a press release that the two organisations signed a memo to work together fighting money laundering and other financial crimes.
This is always interesting because the truth is that Caribbean countries don’t want to fight money-laundering and tax evasion too vigorously. Drug money? Sure, take down the drug money and watch the local economies drop about 5% because a whole lot of people keep employed thanks to that money even if they like to pretend they have no idea where it comes from.
That illustrates the larger point which is that Caribbean countries know they have to appear to want to fight money laundering and tax evasion – but it’s no secret why islands like Bermuda, Barbados and the Caymans have so many offshore banks. Stopping money laundering in Barbados would be like cutting our own throats.
So we have this press announcement that two regional agencies have signed a “Memorandum of Understanding”.
Wonderful. Now let’s see what happens if a couple of Caribbean politicians or big-up business people from Barbados appear on the WikiLeaks Cayman Island money laundering list!
Winnipeg Sun (brrrrr!) Swiss whistleblower to hand bank data to WikiLeaks
Caribbean 360 Money launderers put on warning