Some members of the public are asking whether FTX Holdings, the scandal-ridden cryptocurrency company registered here, had promised election-campaign funds to the Antigua Labour Party.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, the political leader of the Antigua Labour Party, has admitted to knowing and meeting with the 30-year-old investor – Samuel Bankman-Fried – and to speaking with him as recently as last week.
With the issue of campaign financing being raised, Senator Damani Tabor is also voicing concern and asking whether the investor had promised such funds to the Labour Party.
Tabor, the Public Relations Officer of the United Progressive Party (UPP), says he would not be surprised if that were the case – given PM Browne’s admission that Chinese investor Yida Zhang had helped to fund his party’s campaign bid over eight years ago.
Tabor says the UPP is keeping a close eye on this issue to ensure that elections are free and fair in Antigua and Barbuda.
Elections in Antigua and Barbuda are constitutionally due in March 2023; however, although PM Browne promised early polls, the date has not yet been announced.
Meanwhile, FTX Holdings has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, claiming $10 – $50 billion in liabilities. It is alleged that the entity had been using depositors’ money to fund other businesses and personal expenses of its managers.
Accordingly, the company has found itself under investigation by the US Justice Department’s FBI and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, while sources say the Browne Administration is already in talks with overseas lawyers and planning its defence strategy.