The Director of the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Donald Toon, has publicly accused the Government of the Cayman Islands of failing to cooperate when asked for information on beneficial ownership. Director Toon further stated that the NCA has seen signs that money launderers, reacting to UK directives to British Overseas Territories to promulgate complete transparency, have moved on to new tax havens that are not British possessions, and therefore not subject to UK government orders.
He specifically labelled what he called "small island nations," where corporate registration, coupled with opacity, as the new destination for financial criminals and laundrymen, though he failed to name them. Most observers of the Caribbean offshore financial centre scene believe his reference is to the same five East Caribbean states so often in the news, due to their dodgy CBI and diplomatic passport programs, St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada.
If the money launderers who have hidden literally billions of dollars in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and other British Overseas Territories, are engaged in moving them to the independent English-speaking republics of the East Caribbean, then Country Risk levels for those jurisdictions will be increased exponentially by compliance officers whose banks have correspondent relationships with East Caribbean banks. De-Risking, the cancellation of high-risk correspondent accounts, will most likely increase, due to the new and emerging threat of dirty money arriving in the East Caribbean states.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst -
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant