In the blogs

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            [post_date] => 2015-08-01 10:00:46
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            [post_content] => Local consumers are loudly raising concerns as over the sudden closure and continued shutter of practically all the Western Union money transfer location in Willemstad, Curacao for more than a month with no public announcements surrounding their reason(s) for closure. Many customers, primarily of the Punda and the Otrabanda district are phased with logistical hardships as money transfer outlets which they relied on to have their transactions done have yet to be reopened.

It was however indicated by unconfirmed reports that the operators of the outlets in question are currently undergoing investigations relating to money laundering in response to a warning from the U.S. government to the parent company that owns the Western Union brand. Media houses such as the Curacao Guardian have made efforts to clarify this with the US State Department and the operators of the shuttered outlets, but they were unsuccessful in ascertaining any information.

While local financial regulators were also unable to provide a detail explanation for the abrupt closures, a usually reliable source did indicate that there are some existing concerns that are being investigated as it relates to the operators of the Punda and Otrobanda outlets.

In its 2013 International Narcotics Strategy Report, the US Department of Justice had expressed concerns over potential abuse of the local money transfer systems by money laundering operatives out of Venezuela and Colombia.

Western Union locations in several other Caribbean countries have also closed down, with the Cayman Islands being the most recent.

However, this publication was unable to confirm whether the closures in Curacao had anything to do with this report or other recent developments.

 
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Abrupt Closure Of Western Union Outlets In Curacao Heightens Much Concern From Residents

August 1, 2015
1

Local consumers are loudly raising concerns as over the sudden closure and continued shutter of practically all the Western Union money transfer location in Willemstad, Curacao for...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2015-07-31 10:00:48
            [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-31 14:00:48
            [post_content] => Jamaicans are being urged to be on the alert for signs of human trafficking and report known or suspected cases to police by the chairman of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Person (NATFATIP), Carol Palmer. She makes the plea in response to knowing that the local authorities will be working to take the profit out of illegal deed.

"Persons may identify victims by bruises or any other signs of physical abuse. Victims are often not in control of themselves and appear to be under someone else’s control and are unable to move around any location freely," Palmer told a recent JIS Think Tank.

She highlights that these persons affected will normally lack identification or immigration documents and live with many persons, usually in a small space.
"They can be found at the massage parlours, bars, escort services, strip and nightclubs, resort and hotel areas, some homes, hair and nail shops, drug sale, restaurants, commercial sex areas, engaged in pornography and forced begging," she noted. Palmer advises that if a case is suspected, the witness should immediately report the matter to authorities and avert from trying to deal with the matter on their own. Tips on how to protect yourself from being a victim of human trafficking was also offered. "Are you being promised lots of money, a great life and many other tempting gifts? Are you being chosen because you are young, good looking and of a particular gender? Will someone get travel identification and documents for you? Are you being urged to lie? These are the warning signs," Palmer noted. In the meantime, Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Lisa Palmer-Hamilton, shares that authorities are working to ensure human traffickers don’t benefit from their crime. It is said that they intent to pursue this through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) which provides for the investigation, identification and recovery of assets garnered through criminal activity. Palmer-Hamilton informs that once a person is convicted, an application can be made under the Act for them to forfeit their assets. The trafficking of persons is the second largest organised criminal industry in the world, proceeding behind drug dealing. The International Labour Organization says that human trafficking has an estimated 21 million victims and the illicit activity earns approximately US$150 billion in profits each year.
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Human Trafficking On Rise In Jamaica As Authorities Urge Residents To Be On The Alert

July 31, 2015
1

Jamaicans are being urged to be on the alert for signs of human trafficking and report known or suspected cases to police by the chairman of the National Task Force Against Traffic...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2015-07-30 10:00:12
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            [post_content] => Following the bank's closure 30 years ago, customers and creditors of the Bank of Commerce who lost money are to receive a payout of EC$15 million (US$5.5 million). The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris, announced that a court settlement had been reached after three decades of the bank being in liquidation, and payments to those who have lost would be made "in the not too distant future".

During the sitting of Parliament on Tuesday, the prime minister disclosed that he acknowledged that the 30 years it took to reach this stage was an "entirely unsatisfactory period of time" but said that the settlement would however still bring "tremendous relief to the many suffering depositors in the Bank of Commerce".

On the 9th of May, 1985, the bank was put into liquidation by order of the court, in response to a petition that was filed on the 2nd of February, 1985 by one of the financial institution's creditors, the Social Security Board (SSB).

The Social Security Board is expected to receive about EC$1.4 million (US$518,518) while the government which had substantial investment in the bank, would receive about EC$1.2 million (US$444,444). The Nevis Philatelic Bureau is also in line for just over EC$250,000 (US$92,592).
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St. Kitts' Bank Of Commerce Expected To Make A Payout Of US$15M To Depositors

July 30, 2015
1

Following the bank's closure 30 years ago, customers and creditors of the Bank of Commerce who lost money are to receive a payout ofEC$15 million (US$5.5 million). The Prime Minist...Continue reading