PM Browne Gaston Browne hits back at US State Department for ‘inaccurate’ statements

Antigua sea view
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The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has criticised the US State Department for making inaccurate statements about the country in a recent report.

Released in March, the 2018 edition of the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report highlighted a number of alleged deficiencies in the country’s AML framework, identifying member- states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as “major money laundering jurisdictions”.

“They have become more and more hostile to countries in the Caribbean including Antigua and Barbuda,” Browne stated, speaking to local media.

“But when they write up these false things, when they come with these audacious mendacities, they are undermining the relationship between the US and CARICOM countries.”

He singled out factual errors in the report regarding Antigua and Barbuda’s casino industry.

“They say, for example, that we have several casinos involved in money laundering. There is one casino operating in this country and that’s Kings Casino. The other two are closed.”

Back in February, Canadian- born entrepreneur Calvin Ayre has announced plans to develop a $100m five-star resort on Antigua’s Valley Church beach.

“We expect the resort’s novel and exciting concept to broaden Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and bring a new category of tourists to our islands,” Browne explained.

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