Money from criminal activity, including illegal drugs, is making its way into the formal economy through legitimate business used to launder the proceeds of crime, says Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
“… we have to follow the money across this Caribbean,” he told the two-day regional symposium on crime in Trinidad on Tuesday.
“People complain that you catch the smaller fry but Mr. Big escapes because they’re linking the crime, naturally, and there is much linkage between that and drugs or other kind of economic activity from the proceeds of crime,” said Gonsalves, who is also minister of national security.
He noted that the region has a lot of regulations and laws dealing with money laundering.
“If you make a lot of money off drugs, you import the drugs illegally, you sell the drugs, you get foreign currency. You can’t change the foreign currency easily or lodge it in the banks,” he said.