Times: “Curaçao was the banking venue of choice for criminal gangs”

POSTED: 03/6/15 12:45 PM

LONDON, WILLEMSTAD – The British news site Times, in an article titled “Cash return is a ray of sunshine for the taxpayer” indicated that taxpayers in Great Britain are to be repaid tens of millions of pounds by a Caribbean bank at the center of a notorious VAT fraud.

British insolvency firms have reached a settlement with the First Curaçao International Bank (FCIB), which was used by criminals to launder millions of pounds stolen from the exchequer, using the “missing trader” and “carousel” frauds. The deal is expected to result in more than £80 million being returned to the exchequer following settlements of legal claims brought by a number of several British insolvency practitioners working on behalf of HM Revenue.

In an article titled “The Curaçao Problem”, published in the Curaçao Chronicle on March 4, 2014, Stephen Hunt, who is a partner at Griffins Insolvency Practitioners indicated that the frauds mainly centered on MTIC or ‘carousel fraud’ although reports suggest that money was laundered for much more than just that.

Hunts also said that what has made matters considerably worse is the steps taken by the Curaçao authorities to prevent the victims of the fraud getting their money back.  Needless bureaucracy, interminable delays, all seemingly aimed at increasing fees for the lawyers and bankers who administer the process.  It has taken many years for the UK Liquidators to get the funds repaid so that dividends can be paid to the victims, and many millions remain locked up in the ‘special measures’ process.

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