HomeNewsBriefBritish Virgin Islands to Increase Financial Transparency
BRIEF

British Virgin Islands to Increase Financial Transparency

MONEY LAUNDERING / 22 AUG 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has begun talks with the United States over improving financial transparency and reporting requirements for accounts held in the territory by US citizens, a move that could also help tackle money laundering in the Caribbean tax haven.

The United States plans to implement stricter tax evasion measures that require US taxpayers with over $50,000 in foreign holdings to give annual reports on their assets held abroad. BVI Premier Orlando Smith said the British territory was negotiating with the United States over complying with the act through providing information on accounts held by US citizens, reported the Associated Press.

The BVI is a popular location for offshore trusts and the "nominal home" to some 500,000 businesses, as the territory's laws allow businesses based in other parts of the world to register as BVI companies and thus avoid taxes in their home countries.

The Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Bahamas have all announced plans to comply with the US law as well.

InSight Crime Analysis

Though the law is aimed at regulating US tax payers, increasing reporting requirements and transparency in the Caribbean could also help crack down on drug traffickers who use the islands for money laundering. Lax financial regulations led the US to designate eight Caribbean countries and territories as areas of primary concern for the laundering of drug proceeds in 2012, according to US officials.

The BVI is a major offshore financial center with a large tourist economy, and the United States called it a "major target for drug traffickers" in the most recent International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). According to the United States, the country does not require the filing of information regarding capital ownership, which "poses significant money laundering risks."

Earlier this year, a project by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) called the "Offshore Leaks Database" exposed corrupt politicians and businessmen from all over the world who used shadowy companies in the BVI, the Cook Islands, Singapore and other offshore jurisdictions for schemes including tax fraud, bribery and illicit enrichment.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 OCT 2022

Homicides and drug trafficking are pushing up crime levels in Uruguay and authorities are unable to stop it.

BRAZIL / 8 MAR 2021

Criminal dynamics in Brazil, particularly its drug trafficking routes, have been shaken up in recent years by the rapid expansion…

ELITES AND CRIME / 1 NOV 2022

Honduras has freed dozens of individuals tied to organized crime a year after reforming its money laundering law.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…