It is my distinct pleasure to extend a special welcome to the official website of the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP). As Director, I serve as the Supervisory Authority for financial institutions under the Money Laundering Prevention Act (MLPA) 1996, and I also exercise powers of enforcement of Antigua and Barbuda’s Prevention of Terrorism Act and its anti-terrorism financing provisions.
Tasked with the responsibility of receiving, analyzing and acting on suspicious activity reports submitted by financial institutions, the ONDCP is mindful of the impact that these new and sometimes stringent requirements have on financial institutions and the public. It was therefore considered important to establish a medium that would allow all stakeholders to have access to information vital to compliance with the AML/CFT requirements of the law, and to have a source of information about recent Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism developments, and that would keep them abreast of the efforts the ONDCP is making in countering these threats.
Financial Institutions and the public
On one hand the website is a forum to provide timely information to financial institutions that are subject to the AML/CFT statues and regulations, while allowing for specific guidelines and directives issued by the Supervisory Authority to be more effectively communicated. On the other hand it is intended as a forum to educate the public as to the threats of drug traffickers, money launderers and those who would engage in terrorism financing. The site will seek to set the stage to inform the public why certain processes and procedures are required by the financial institutions and the resulting impact on the AML/CFT framework within the country. While there remain a few areas in the website to be completed, we advise that it is a work in progress.
This site is available for use by students who wish to conduct research into the areas of money laundering, terrorism financing or drug trafficking, or to obtain information on efforts being made by the relevant agencies as it relates to substance abuse prevention and or the treatment and rehabilitation of persons adversely affected by the use of these drugs. It also endeavors to establish a Drug Information Network that will provide relevant information to stakeholders and to continue the effort of public education.
The site is also intended to be a link to international websites that provide additional information on drug trafficking trends and typologies, new treatment methods and how the international community is coping with the challenges of counter narcotics operations.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2009 (UNODC WDR 2009) has indicated that the illicit drug trafficking industry is a US $320 Billion per year industry. See here. This clearly provides an indication of the scale of the problem and why it is important that we use every means possible and obtain the necessary support to continue the fight against this illicit activity.
It is also to be noted that international statistics indicate a direct correlation between the homicide rate per 100,000 and drug trafficking and related criminal activities. International statistics on crime and justice can be found at International Crime Statistics.
I wish to thank the men and women of the ONDCP for their continued commitment and dedication to duty and for their contributions towards the launching of this site. Innovations in modern technology, combined with the commitment of the organization’s human resources, will continue to produce an output of excellence, integrity, accountability, professionalism, loyalty and courtesy which allows for the safeguarding of Antigua and Barbuda more effectively than before.
The ONDCP is a leader and a partner in providing continued assistance to our local and international agencies. We will continue to work diligently to combat drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism financing as well as mounting combined counter narcotics operations, with the timely sharing of Intelligence. I also wish to single out the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) for their continued support in strengthening the mechanisms required to ensure effectiveness in the overall fight against criminals involved in these illicit activities.
Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you. We hope that you benefit from your visit to our site and that you will return frequently for updates on trends, new laws, regulations, guidelines and to be informed of recent counter narcotic successes locally, regionally or internationally.
It is with a great sense of pride and satisfaction that I take this opportunity to launch the official website of the ONDCP.
Lt Col Edward H Croft