U.S. Department of State releases 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report – Curaçao
WASHINGTON - The 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) is an annual report by the Department of State to the American Congress prepared in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2015. Volume I covers drug and chemical control activities. Volume II covers money laundering and financial crimes.
According to the report Curacao is considered a regional financial center and, due to its location, it is a transshipment point for drugs from South America bound for the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. Money laundering is 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. Money laundering occurs through real estate purchases and international tax shelters. Laundering activity also occurs through wire transfers and cash transport among Curaçao, the Netherlands, and other Dutch Caribbean islands and illegal underground banking. Bulk cash smuggling is a continuing problem due to Curaçao’s close proximity to South America.
Economic activity in the free zones continues to decline. Curaçao’s active “e-zone” provides e-commerce investors a variety of tax saving opportunities and could be attractive to illegal activities.
In the financial sector, the report indicates that several international financial services companies have relocated their businesses elsewhere because Curaçao is fighting its perception of being a tax haven.
To read the report on Curaçao please click here.