An Inconsistent Response

Apr 1, 2002

Caribbean nations with substantial offshore financial sectors have not responded uniformly to international efforts to crack down on money laundering and tax evasion.

In the past two years, the Caribbean has become a battleground in the war against money laundering and tax evasion. International organizations such as the Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and its Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have been pressuring the island nations of the Caribbean to change their banking laws and the way banks do business. Some of these countries are scrambling to appease the OECD and FATF so as not to face tough economic sanctions from the world's richest and most powerful countries. But others have been reluctant to make changes, particularly with regard to their tax laws. Since June 2000, many Caribbean countries have had to contend with the OECD's campaign against what it calls "harmful tax practices." That is when the OECD placed 35 countries, half of which are located in the Caribbean, on a blacklist in an attempt to crackdown on governments...

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