Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Antigua and Barbuda

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report

Antigua and Barbuda remains a substantial offshore center which continues to be vulnerable to money laundering and other financial crimes. An increase in drug trafficking, a large financial sector, and a growing Internet gaming industry likewise add to its susceptibility. The Antiguan Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP) has a three prong approach to combat narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism via the reporting of financial intelligence and investigation, AML/CFT compliance, and counter-narcotics operations. The ONDCP’s analysis in 2013 showed that criminals exploited the system as financial institutions often failed to apply sufficiently rigorous due diligence to suspicious transactions. In 2014, it reported increased evidence of “money laundering related to drug trafficking taking place through local financial institutions.” There are few successful investigations, prosecutions, and convictions.

Casinos and Internet gaming maintain a strong presence in Antigua and Barbuda. Internet gaming companies are supervised through the ONDCP. Regulation requires them to incorporate as international business corporations (IBCs) and maintain a physical presence on the island. Additionally, domestic casinos must incorporate as domestic corporations. Casinos and sports book-wagering operations in Antigua and Barbuda’s free trade zone are supervised by the ONDCP and the Directorate of Offshore Gaming. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda receives millions of dollars per year from license fees and other charges related to the Internet gaming industry.

Shell companies are not permitted in Antigua and Barbuda. All certified institutions are required to have a physical presence, which means presence of at least a full-time senior officer and availability of all files and records. International companies are authorized to possess bearer shares; however, the license application requires disclosure of the names and addresses of directors (who must be natural persons), the activities the corporation intends to conduct, the names of shareholders, and number of shares they will hold. Registered agents or service providers are compelled by law to know the names of beneficial owners. Failure to provide information or giving false information is punishable by a fine of $50,000. Offshore financial institutions are exempt from corporate income tax.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) supervises Antigua and Barbuda’s domestic banking sector, along with the domestic sectors of seven other Caribbean jurisdictions.

For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/

Do FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONs engage in currency transactions related to international narcotics trafficking that include significant amounts of US currency; currency derived from illegal sales in the U.S.; or illegal drug sales that otherwise significantly affect the U.S.: YES

criminalizATION OF money laundering:

“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: All serious crimes

Are legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: YES

Know-your-customer (KYC) rules:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: YES

KYC covered entities: Banks, international offshore banking businesses, venture risk capital, and money transmission services; entities issuing and administering means of payment (e.g., credit cards, traveler’s checks, and banker’s drafts); those offering guarantees and commitments, or trading for customers involved in money market instruments, foreign exchange, financial and commodities-based derivative instruments, or transferable or negotiable instruments; money brokers and exchanges, money lenders, and pawn shops; real property businesses; credit unions, building societies, and trust businesses; dealers in precious metals, art, jewelry, and high-value goods; casinos and providers of Internet gaming and sports betting; car dealerships; travel agents; company service providers, attorneys, notaries, and accountants

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 207: January 1 – November 10, 2014

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

STR covered entities: Banks, international offshore banking businesses, venture risk capital, and money transmission services; entities issuing and administering means of payment (e.g., credit cards, traveler’s checks, and banker’s drafts); those offering guarantees and commitments, or trading for customers involved in money market instruments, foreign exchange, financial and commodities-based derivative instruments, or transferable or negotiable instruments; money brokers and exchanges, money lenders, and pawn shops; real property businesses; credit unions, building societies, and trust businesses; dealers in precious metals, art, jewelry, and high-value goods; casinos and providers of Internet gaming and sports betting; car dealerships; travel agents; company service providers, attorneys, notaries, and accountants

money laundering criminal Prosecutions/convictions:

Prosecutions: 0 in 2014

Convictions: 1 in 2014

Records exchange mechanism:

With U.S.: MLAT: YES Other mechanism: YES

With other governments/jurisdictions: YES

Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), a FATF-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=355&Itemid=418&lang=en

Enforcement and implementation issues and comments:

Antigua and Barbuda continues to work to improve its AML/CFT regime. The Proceeds of Crime Amendment Act of 2014 introduces civil forfeiture provisions in Antigua and includes amendments to improve the consistency of the provisions relating to criminal confiscation.

The Supervisory Authority has the power to comprehensively examine all sectors of financial institutions, including offshore institutions, for AML/CFT compliance and has the authority to impose sanctions as needed. The Supervisory Authority can apply to a court for a production order where there is a failure by a financial institution to grant access to all records, documents, or required information.

On September 23, 2014 the U.S. shared approximately $93,000 with Antigua’s ONDCP, from the proceeds of a 2007 investigation jointly conducted by U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and the Antiguan ONDCP.

The numbers of prosecutions and convictions are telling regarding the effectiveness of Antigua and Barbuda’s AML/CFT regime. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda should continue to work to implement its AML/CFT action plan, and devote resources to money laundering investigations and enforcement.