U.S. Department of State names Curaçao among 20 Caribbean, Latin American Nations as major money laundering countries
WILLEMSTAD - Twenty Caribbean and Latin American nations have been named by the U.S. as “major money laundering” countries in the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) from the U.S. State Department released Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016. Curaçao was also included in this report
A major money laundering is defined by statute as one “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.”
Curaçao, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands that defers to the Kingdom in matters of defense, foreign affairs, final judicial review, human rights, and good governance, also made the list. The U.S. says since the country is a transshipment point for drugs from South America bound for the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe, money laundering is present and primarily related to proceeds from illegal narcotics. “Money laundering organizations take advantage of the availability of U.S. dollars, banking secrecy, offshore banking and incorporation systems, two free trade zones (airport and harbor), an expansive shipping container terminal with the largest oil transshipment center in the Caribbean, and resort/casino complexes to place, layer, and launder illegal proceeds,” the U.S. State Department report said, adding that the laundering occurs through real estate purchases and international tax shelters as well as through wire transfers and cash transport among Curaçao, the Netherlands, and other Dutch Caribbean islands and illegal underground banking.
Other countries that were named are Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Sint Maarten (Dutch side), Uruguay and Venezuela.