Antigua and Barbuda: Immunity = Impunity

Leroy King, the former Head of Antigua & Barbuda's Financial Services Regulatory Commission has lost another appeal, leaving him with the prospect of the Privy Council as a last resort before inevitable extradition to the USA on 11 charges of alleged wire and mail fraud.

The charges relate to the USD $7 billion Ponzi scheme and banking fraud perpetrated by R Allen Stanford, currently serving 110 years in a Texas jail. 

Since proceedings against him began in 2009, King has surprisingly escaped justice through a series of frustrating legal manoeuvres

Some who said he would never face real justice are looking increasingly encouraged.  However, there are others that say King will never reach US soil, despite the attraction of a plea bargain.

It is interesting that this news coincides with two fresh revelations, one about the appalling conditions in Antigua & Barbuda's prison and the other regarding the possibility of marijuana being grown legally on the twin Island state for the first time.

The irony of both would not be lost on many observers and commentators.

Latest figures show that there are over 300 male and female inmates at Her Majesty's Prison 1735 in Coronation Road, St John's. The notorious and dilapidated institution, which was originally constructed for a different purpose in 1735 should house less than half that amount.

Many endure over-crowding of up to 12 prisoners to a typical mosquito-infested 12 feet x 12 feet cell for up to 20 hours duration. They sleep on the floor and the latest occupants, or most vulnerable, have their heads next to the slopping out pails.

The dreadful sanitation, squalid health conditions, lack of proper food & drinking water, gang violence and the considerable length of time taken to process cases, have been drawn to the attention of bodies and countries outside the twin Islands, including the UN, Canada and the UK.  It is said that many remand prisoners plead guilty to offences they have not committed to shorten the process.

Several UN members such as China, Germany and Australia have pressed the Antigua & Barbuda authorities to improve the situation to even conform with the UN minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners to no avail.

In fact, a UK court initially refused to extradite PC Lee Martin-Cramp, a Metropolitan Police Officer, accused in May 2015 of allegedly raping a 19-year old student at a wedding in Antigua because of the undisputed appalling conditions at HMP 1735.

In August 2018 a second request was upheld on the proviso that he was detained elsewhere in humane conditions that did not breach his Human Rights.  He is now being held pending trial at a former U.S. Naval base in Antigua and has been refused bail.

Turning to the other revelation, following Antigua & Barbuda's decision in April 2018 to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, the Government confirmed that it has been approached by six local, regional and international groups and agencies interested in developing the industry in Antigua and Barbuda.

Legislation passed in April 2018 approved the possession of 15 grams of Ganja and the growing of four cannabis plants per household.

It seems now that the Government intends to pursue the "Canadian model" and facilitate commercial farming and sale of "medicinal use" cannabis products.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's World Drug Report 2017, Canada has the globe's eighth-largest illegal marijuana crop and is a net exporter.

As such, organised crime is well established in the sector, despite it being a relatively low profit product. 

Medicinal use products, as with other prescription drugs, are considerably more attractive to the higher end of the criminal food chain and they do have the means to take full advantage of these new opportunities.

Given Antigua & Barbuda's longstanding and well-documented reputation, the country would be a perfect fit for this emerging market.

Donald Toon, Director Prosperity (Economic and Cybercrime) at the UK National Crime Agency has publicly accused the Cayman Islands of failing to co-operate with beneficial ownership information.

He confirmed that normally when NCA officers requested help from a British Overseas Territory "we can generally get from them clear, unambiguous beneficial ownership information but we are having a difficulty with Cayman".

He further commented that "The Cayman government is entirely aware of the UK concerns.

The NCA advised that it appeared criminals were finding new tax havens to exploit lax regulation and hide their links to corrupt assets.

These were jurisdictions "well beyond the British Overseas Territories," which Mr Toon called "small island nations" where "people are able to register companies but are much more difficult to penetrate in terms of getting access to the information on beneficial owners."

Mr Toon went on to say that there were jurisdictions "well beyond the British Overseas Territories," where "people are able to register companies but are much more difficult to penetrate in terms of getting access to the information on beneficial owners."

Though not naming them, but by specifically labelling them "small island nations," is being interpreted as meaning the five East Caribbean states comprising Antigua & Barbuda, St Lucia, Grenada, Dominica and St Kitts & Nevis.

However, other commentators suggest that he could be referring to Malta and Cyprus.

Meanwhile, yet another Antigua & Barbuda Citizen By Investment passport recipient is holed up in Antigua to avoid extradition.

Mehul Choksi is a fugitive businessman wanted by the Indian Judicial Authorities on charges including alleged criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, corruption, money laundering and in connection with an estimated USD $2 billion alleged loan fraud at a Mumbai-based branch of the Punjab National Bank.

Conveniently, India does not have an extradition treaty with Antigua and Barbuda and so his new dual nationality provides an added benefit far beyond economic investment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions