KINGSTOWN, St Vincent and Grenadines, Tuesday October 31, 2017 – Vincentian authorities say they’d been cooperating with their United States counterparts in the probe that led to the indictment of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort and former business associate, Rick Gates yesterday.
The disclosure was made in a joint statement issued by the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, the Financial Services Authority and the Financial Intelligence Unit yesterday, after the news broke about Manafort’s and Gates’ indictment on 12 charges of conspiracy against the US, money laundering and several other financial charges, and that St Vincent and the Grenadines was one of the three countries used by the two to funnel money.
The statement from the Vincentian authorities said that since 2013-2014 and, more recently, this year, they had been “cooperating with the US authorities in the investigation of the matter at hand and will continue to lend their assistance”.
“The authorities in St Vincent and the Grenadines have thus acted properly in every respect in relation to this matter,” it said.
“St Vincent and the Grenadines remains committed to ensuring effective systems to detect, investigate and deter money laundering and also to provide assistance internationally in the investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases,” it added, stressing that it takes very seriously the threats posed by money laundering.
“As a small developing country, St Vincent and the Grenadines strives to address this transnational crime as a collaborative effort with the help of our international law enforcement partners and regulatory communities, to prevent, identify, punish and detect financial crime.”
According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates owned or controlled two entities incorporated in St Vincent and the Grenadines – Global Endeavour Inc. and Jennet Ltd – which were used in the scheme to hide some of the tens of millions of dollars in income they received as unregistered agents of the former Ukraine government.
The St Vincent and the Grenadines’ statement said that all material times, appropriate customer due diligence and customer verification procedures were undertaken in relation to the company.
“The authorities note that even the most effective systems around the world sometimes may not prevent a criminal intention to commit fraudulent or money laundering activities, especially where legitimate names and business are utilized to incorporate a company or establish a business relation,” it said.
Included in wire transfers sent by Manafort between 2008 and 2014 was a total of US$1.4 million originating from St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Manafort did not pay taxes on this income, which was used to make the purchases,” the indictment stated.