A former ambassador expresses concern for the country’s image after allegations of dubious transfers of cash from West Africa

Bruce Goodwin, a former Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador says allegations of dubious transfers of monies into the country is scandalous and a black eye on the country’s image.  He was responding to allegations of monies being brought into the country from West Africa through the VC Bird International Airport.

Reports have been in circulation since video footage surfaced of metal chests full of money in a holding room.

However, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has dismissed those allegations as just rumours saying that there is no way that the alleged amount of US$4 billion could fit in the cargo area of any plane, especially with passengers on board the aircraft.

Goodwin says that even as a rumour, the claims are shocking. He says that it is appalling that such allegations are being made in Antigua and Barbuda.

He says that it is highly disingenuous on the part of the prime minister that such amount of money could not be transported on an airplane to this country.

According to Goodwin, the number of flights which arrived in Antigua with West Africans passengers could have each facilitated the transfer of the cash.

Goodwin says that money laundering is a crime of international jurisdiction and since US currency is allegedly involved, this might have caught the attention of officials within the United States.

The former ambassador says that the issue also arises of the money being moved outside of standard financial channels, and would therefore constitute some form of money laundering offence.

Goodwin says that the country has been placed in a situation, by the government, in which the state of Antigua and Barbuda could be seriously impugned through its actions in terms of it having committed serious offences which could be considered as crimes of universal jurisdiction.

He says that the country could receive serious sanctions as a result of this offence.