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. Antigua and Barbuda’s Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP) continues to strive to eradicate transnational drug trafficking, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism through a three-pronged approach in the areas of financial intelligence and investigation, AML/CFT compliance, and counternarcotics operations. The ONDCP’s analysis in 2013 shows that criminals exploit the financial system as financial institutions often fail to apply sufficiently rigorous due diligence investigation to suspicious transactions.

Casinos and internet gaming remain a strong presence in Antigua and Barbuda. Internet gaming companies are supervised through the ONDCP. Regulations require companies to incorporate as international business corporations and maintain a physical presence on the island. Additionally, domestic casinos must incorporate as domestic corporations. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda receives approximately $3,120,000 per year from license fees and other charges related to the internet gaming industry. A nominal free trade zone (FTZ) in the country attempts to attract investment in areas the government deems a priority. Casinos and sports book-wagering operations in Antigua and Barbuda’s FTZ are supervised by the ONDCP and the Directorate of Offshore Gaming.

Shell companies are not permitted in Antigua and Barbuda. All certified institutions are required to have a physical presence, which means the presence of at least one 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.

Currently, 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: http://www.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 funds, and money transmission services; credit card companies; issuers of travelers’ checks, money market instruments, and financial and commodity-based derivative instruments; money brokers, money lenders, pawn dealers, and money exchangers; real property businesses, building societies, and trust businesses; casinos and Internet gaming and sports betting enterprises; insurance businesses; travel agents; company service providers; dealers in high-value luxury items, jewelry, precious metals, cars and art; attorneys, notaries and accountants

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 138: January 1 – November 10, 2013

Number of CTRs received and time frame: 92: January 1 – November 10, 2013

STR covered entities: Banks, international offshore banking businesses, venture risk capital funds, and money transmission services; credit card companies; issuers of travelers’ checks, money market instruments, and financial and commodity-based derivative instruments; money brokers, money lenders, pawn dealers, and money exchangers; real property businesses, building societies, and trust businesses; casinos and Internet gaming and sports betting enterprises; insurance businesses; travel agents; company service providers; dealers in high-value luxury items, jewelry, precious metals, cars and art; attorneys, notaries and accountants

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 9 in 2013

Convictions: 4 in 2013

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:

Recent amendments made to the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2013 (MLPA) categorize human trafficking and migrant smuggling as money laundering predicate offenses.

In an effort to enhance the supervisory regime in Antigua and Barbuda, Section 7 of the MLPA was amended by the Money Laundering (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013 to give full powers to the supervisory authority to comprehensively examine all departments within financial institutions for AML/CFT compliance. Section 7 authorizes the supervisory authority to impose sanctions and pursue court orders to compel financial institutions to grant access to all required records, documents, and information. Financial institutions also are subject to fines of 50,000 EC (approximately $18,500) on summary conviction, and a penalty of 1,000 EC (approximately $370) is assessed for each day the offense continues. Section 17 provides for the assessment of administrative penalties pursuant to the MLPA.