The ONDCP was established as an administrative sub-unit of the Prime Minister’s Ministry in 1996 with its sole purpose to enforce the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act of 1996. Thereafter in 2003 the ONDCP Act was passed establishing the organization as an independent law enforcement agency with specific authority to investigate reports of suspicious activity concerning specified offences and the proceeds of crime.
The Director serves as the Supervisory Authority for financial institutions (under the MLPA) inclusive of the enforcement of Antigua and Barbuda’s Prevention of Terrorism Act and its anti-terrorism financing provisions. Additionally, the ONDCP fulfills the role as Antigua and Barbuda’s primary counter narcotics investigation interdiction agency inclusive of the collection, development and dissemination of intelligence on drugs.
The functions of the organization are guided by:
- The ONDCP Act 2003
- The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2001
- The Money Lauundering Prevention Act 1996
- The Proceeds of Crime Act 1993
- The Misuse of Drugs Act 1992 ( as amended)]
At ONDCP our vision is to become the Caribbean’s lead law enforcement agency combating illegal narcotics, money laundering and terrorism financing, while our mission is to eradicate transnational drug trafficking, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. To successfully accomplish this we will continue to draw on the best personnel from Antigua and Barbuda and the region, develop personnel through continuous assessment and structured training programs, work with other national stakeholders, regional and other overseas partners, by mounting combined operations and timely sharing of intelligence and collaborative training experiences among others.
Our guiding values are Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Professionalism and Loyalty.
Over the years we have developed and maintained a level of co-operation and rapport with various entities inclusive of the Antigua and Barbuda Customs Department, Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Antigua Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard to mention a few. It is because of these relations that the organization has managed to successfully deter and intercept the trafficking of illegal drugs and the laundering of money.
The staff component of the organization spans a cadre of enthusiastic and efficient persons who are continuously championing the cause of eradicating the prevalence of illicit narcotics, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The ONDCP comprises of several units/departments which contribute to the successful achievement of our mandate.
These units are:
- Administration Department
- Financial Intelligence Unit
- Investigations Department
- Financial Compliance Unit
- Drug Intelligence Unit
- Tactical and Surveillance Team
- Legal Department
- Anti-Drug Strategy Unit
The operational structure of the ONDCP can be described as a house which is firmly built upon its legal foundation ensuring that all activities undertaken by the agency is grounded in law; the three supporting pillars of Financial Intelligence/Financial Investigations, Supervisory Authority/AML CFT Compliance and finally the Counter Narcotics Operations are the operational arms that enforce the mandate of the ONDCP Act 2003 and other relevant legislations. These pillars are covered by the Administration Department who provides administrative and logistical support to the Agency in providing support to the departments.
The ONDCP will continue to make it a priority to recruit a new generation of professionals reflecting the current demographic realities of Antigua and Barbuda. The organization is attracting more young nationals to its ranks, persons who have the knowledge, skills and initiative to work in law enforcement, combating illegal narcotics, money laundering, and terrorism financing and are dedicated to protecting Antigua and Barbuda’s national security and its interests.
All employees must have been thoroughly vetted and given a high security clearance and, in addition, they are given ongoing training on their responsibilities to protect the sensitive information entrusted to the ONDCP. Improper disclosure of information can be penalized by as much as five years in jail, or a fine of up to $100,000, or both.