Insiders in Antigua have alleged that the country's Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, facing multiple attacks from the Opposition, due to corruption as well as other financial crime issues, has engaged a prominent international hacking firm, which ostensibly will check Antigua's online security levels. Given the fact that a number of sitting governments in the East Caribbean have been accused of using hackers to attack their Opposition, these reports must be taken seriously, noting that the ongoing corruption matters that have given Antigua a black eye, in the view of North American-based compliance officers.
Antiguans are concerned that government-funded Internet manipulation and anonymous attacks upon individuals that the PM deems threats to his elected office might be employed to damage opposition leaders, and impact their effectiveness as whistleblowers of misconduct. There are persistent rumors that the hacking firm is not only protecting websites for clients, but is also engaged in illicit activity, as ordered by their clients, and that this is the nature of their engagement by Browne.
HACKER FOR ANTIGUA, DOMINICA & GRENADA
It is not known what the response will be when Antiguans are fully informed about such questionable activities, it is expected that they will voice their concerns to government.
Last year, we reported on similar covert (and illegal) Internet projects, targeting Opposition figures and parties, in the Commonwealth of Antigua.That illicit program is believed to be still in operation there.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant