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United States Lifts Financial Advisory on Antigua

22 August 2001

LONDON -- (Press Release) -- Aug. 21, 2001 -- The United States Government has lifted its financial advisory imposed on Antigua and Barbuda in April 1999.

The US Treasury Department informed Antigua and Barbuda's Senior Ambassador, Sir Ronald Sanders, by letter that the Advisory is lifted today (21st August).

Sanders praised the "vision and courage" of Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Lester Bird for "spearheading the Government's resolve to ensure that Antigua and Barbuda's anti-money laundering regime meets the highest international standards".

"Prime Minister Bird's determination to give Antigua and Barbuda a clean reputation in the international community has paid-off", Sir Ronald said.

He pointed out that this is "a triple achievement for Mr Bird's efforts. Antigua and Barbuda was recognised by the Financial Action Task Force as a fully cooperative jurisdiction against money laundering, the United Kingdom Government lifted its financial advisory on 16th July and now the United States has recognised the considerable reforms that the Antigua and Barbuda government has made".

At the Prime Minister's request, Sanders, who is Antigua and Barbuda's lead negotiator on international financial services, led a three-man delegation to Washington two weeks ago to discuss the lifting of the Advisory with Treasury officials. His delegation included Wrenford Ferrance, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control and Money laundering Policy and Mr Lebrecht Hesse, the Chairman of the International Financial Sector Regulatory Authority.

The delegation met a six-man US Government team including Deputy Treasury Secretary Kenneth Dam and General Counsel David Aufhauser.

In its notice to banks and other financial institutions in the United States advising them the advisory is lifted, FinCEN said:

"Because of the enactment of new laws and the beginning of effective implementation, enhanced scrutiny with respect to transactions involving Antigua and Barbuda is no longer necessary. The advisory regarding Antigua and Barbuda is hereby withdrawn".

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