Caribbean Round-Up


Business leaders from 18 countries and territories of the Caribbean will meet later this month in Miami to discuss the challenges posed by anti-laundering regulation.

Board directors, president and CEOs in the largest regulated business from 13 industries have confirmed their participation.

Michelle Martin, organizer of the Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Conference said: “It is the first time so many heads of enforcement agencies will gather in a single location to engage business leaders.”

Keynote speakers will include Calvin Wilson, executive director of the Caribbean Action Task Force (CFATF) and Cleviston Haynes, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Barbados.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is delegating special agent Jason Manar of the Intelligence Community Group to discuss data protection.

As Caribbean businesses start implementing Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) and anti-money laundering (AML) programs they will keep on record copies of IDs and a wide range of personal data that can be used for identity theft.

IRS retired special agent in charge of Criminal Investigation Division Jose “Tony” Gonzalez will discuss how legitimate business are destroyed by financial crimes.


A Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) Partnered with the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) for implementation of a training programs for ICT advisors from ll CARICOM countries.

The work shop which was held from March 23 – 25 at Divi Southwinds Resort, Barbados, aimed at improving the competitiveness of firms through access, implementation, and use of ICT in business processes.

“The reality of the situation is that the SMEs (Single Market Economies) must embrace ICT to survive in today’s environment,” said Pamela Cook-Hamilton of Caribbean Export.

CTIC has successfully led a program over the last 12 years to build capacity in the use of ICTs by SMEs through the training of ICT advisors.

The program, which began in January of this year with six weeks of online sessions, was completed during March when technical advisors and ICT consultants from around the CARICOM region who work with mirco, small and medium-sized enterprises were brought together.


Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is on a mission to have all the hotel rooms on the island filled throughout the island.

As part of that quest, the agency has set its sights on the Trinidad and Tobago market and is currently on a promotional tour.

Grenada’s Culture Minister Brenda Hood said recently: “Inter Caribbean tourism is very important to the industry and T&T is a very powerful destination and therefore we have to take every opportunity to come to T&T and promote Grenada.”

Hood, who spoke at a press conference hosted by the GTA at the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain said, Grenada will be launching its Spice Mas and she expects to see greater connectivity.”

Veteran hotelier and chairman of Spice Island Beach Resort Sir Royston Hopkin said CAL and LIAT bring approximately 80 percent of the tourist traffic to Grenada.

GTA CEO Rudy Grant said the agency intend to strengthen its marketing thrust, not only in the region, but globally.


The United States is providing US$300,000 to fund local and hemispheric observers to elect a new government on May 11.

“It is our hope that international and domestic observation will increase public and stakeholder confidence in the electoral process, culminating in all political parties acceptance of the ultimate results,” the U.S.Embassy in Georgetown said.

It said the money would be used to support the monitoring programs of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Electoral Assistance Bureau (EAB).

“These resources will assist in their efforts to ensure fair, free and credible elections in Guyana on May 11,” it said, adding “the U.S. government is pleased to support the two organizations in bringing their credible and critical analysis to Guyana’s 2015 electoral process.”

On a statement Washington said it would continue to advocate globally for the expansion and strengthening of democratic governance and that regular free and fair elections are critical in this regard.


Authorities in Haiti say they have discovered the bodies of 17 people who appeared to have drowned off the country’s northern coast.

The bodies of 11 men and six women were found recently, washed ashore in the coastal town of Le Borgne, about l00 miles north of Port-au-Prince.

Police said the victims appeared to have drowned in a boating incident, although no vessel had yet been found. It is unclear if there were any survivors.


A new fund to stimulate clean energy was announced recently by U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting with CARICOM leaders in Kingston, Jamaica.

He described the region’s dependence on fossil fuels as its greatest barrier to development.

At the start of the meeting with CARICOM leaders at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Obama said the talks would focus on several issues such as regional integration, trans-national crime, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and human rights.

“One of the greatest barriers to development in the Caribbean … is expensive, often unreliable and carbon-intensive energy,” Obama said.

“This region has some of the highest energy costs in the world. Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and we have to act now,” he said

The U.S. president said there would be a new fund to encourage clean energy.

“We are announcing partnerships, a new fund to mobilize private investment in clean projects,” Obama said.

St. Lucia

The St. Lucia government has announced changes to the operations at the Castries Health Center following an upsurge in murders near the facility in the past few days.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations said the changes are “to facilitate the revision of security arrangements to ensure the safety of clients and staff of the Castries Health Center.”

Police said while they had no motive for the latest killing, they believe it may be gang-related. So far four people have been detained in connection with the other murders committed recently.

While there were no murders in January, February and March, there were five killings so far for the month of April.


A Jamaican teenager has been detained in Suriname on suspicion of being a would-be militant hoping to join Islamic extremists.

In a statement, Suriname’s police said the 16-year-old was denied entry after arriving at the country’s airport recently on a Saturday flight. The teen, whose identity was not disclose, was apparently trying to fly to the Netherlands and then to Turkey.

An intelligence agency said Suriname police did not inform them that the Jamaican apparently intended to slip into Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

After being questioned and obtaining background information on the youth, he was flown back to Jamaica.

Jamaica’s national security ministry did not respond to questions from the media.

Last month, the ministry insisted there was “no evidence” of Jamaicans joining the Islamic State group or other terrorist groups a few days after a U.S. general identified the island as one of the Caribbean nations that have produced roughly 100 would-be militants with Islamic extremists in Syria.


Trinidad-born American businessman and media owner Mohan Jaikaran passed away at his home in Westmoorings, a few miles away from Port of Spain last Sunday night. He suffered a heart attack.

He also lived in New Jersey and used to be back and forth to look after his business in T&T.

Jaikaran, 64, was the owner of WIN TV and Massala Radio 1.01 FM and was a former vice-chairman of state-owned Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL).

He was known to be also heavily involved in Indian culture.

In sending condolences to his family, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar lamented that Jaikaran was a “dedicated patriot” and pioneering businessman who have served the nation in many categories.

Jaikaran, also owned the popular Maracas Night Club in Queens, New York.

He body was flown to New York to be cremated this week.

— compiled by Azad Ali

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