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Barbados - Corruption

Corruption is generally not a major problem in Barbados, which ranked 31 out of 176 on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2016. The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, and the government generally implemented these laws effectively. The parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and the auditor general conduct investigations of all government public accounts, which include ministries, departments, and statutory bodies. No law provides protection for persons who make internal disclosures or lawful public disclosures of evidence of illegality. No law subjects public officials to financial disclosure.

Barbados is a regional financial center with a sizeable International Business Company [IBC] presence. The country’s susceptibility to money laundering is primarily associated with the domestic sale of illegal narcotics and the laundering of foreign criminal proceeds. There are some reports of proceeds from illicit activities abroad being laundered through domestic financial institutions. Narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and firearms trafficking are major sources of illicit funds in the country. In addition to the use of financial institutions, money is laundered through the purchase of real estate, vehicles, vessels, and jewelry as well as through a variety of businesses.

Barbados’ criminal law limits the government’s ability to seize assets acquired through criminal activity without conviction. The Government of Barbados should continue developing new nonconviction-based asset forfeiture laws to increase the efficacy of asset recovery procedures.

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