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Saint Vincent Slams 'Money Laundering' Accusations

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
07 November, 2017

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has emphatically refuted accusations in the international media describing the territory as "notorious for money laundering" and a "prime money laundering destination."

The territory has been linked by the media with the US FBI's current investigation into Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager of US President Donald Trump, and alleged Trump/Manafort links with Russia. It is alleged offshore structures were used to move funds controlled by Manafort, including structures in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

In a joint statement issued by the territory's National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, Financial Services Authority, and Financial Intelligence Unit, the authorities said they consider the linking of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with money laundering to be "uninformed, outdated, erroneous, and inaccurate."

Specifically, the authorities challenge the basis for the media descriptions of the territory, particularly as the country is not on any international sanction list as a money laundering haven, nor on any other international sanction list. The authorities note the territory has for several years been effectively addressing money laundering and financial crimes, as well as "responsibly" participating in international initiatives aimed at combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism, tax offences, and financial crime, through its active membership of the Caribbean arm of the Financial Action Task Force, the international anti-money laundering standard setter, and the OECD Global Forum, the international tax transparency standard setter.

The authorities also pointed to the jurisdiction's assessment as being "largely compliant" in relation to its legal and administrative tax transparency framework, as well as being "US FATCA" compliant, i.e. compliant with the US initiative to ensure tax reporting in respect of US citizens holding assets outside of the US in the territory's financial institutions.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines says it continues to be extremely cooperative on the global front in the investigation and prosecution of money laundering, tax offences, and criminal matters, and "strongly denounces" the "misinformation" in the international media.

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