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Aug 11, 2015

Former PM Blames G.O.B. for Bank of America Severing Ties

Two major banks in Belize – one local and the other international – have lost their correspondent banking relationship with Bank of America. It’s a serious blow for customers who depend on the access previously provided through that relationship, but the threat had loomed for some time due to very strict money laundering regulations imposed by the US on the region. For Prime Minister Dean Barrow, it’s just a sign of changing times and policies, but former Prime Minister Said Musa says that’s not it at all. To find out who or what is to blame, says Musa, the Prime Minister need only to look in the mirror.

 

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister

“You see all these things happening with banks being de-risked – that two banks in Belize, two of the major banks in Belize don’t have a corresponding bank in the US anymore. We can’t just wire money like we used to before. You can’t pay for goods like you used to before. You have to go through all kinds of round-about way that takes weeks sometimes. Why is that? It’s because the US government views this jurisdiction contrary to what the Prime Minister is saying, as a major sieve for money laundering. That is what is happening. First of all they see that we’re not doing enough to fight the drug war. And when we talk about the drug war it’s the big money that’s involved with drugs. We’re not doing enough. We’re at the bottom of the list when it comes to human trafficking in persons. And with all these things, and now with this report of being near bankruptcy and all that coming out of Moody’s and all these agencies…all of a sudden now Belize Bank no longer has Bank of America. Atlantic Bank…and you ask yourself how comes these things never happened before? What is going on? Of course the Prime Minister will say it’s nothing to do with us. It’s a different model that they are adopting now, that is why. That is nonsense.”

 

Said Musa

Dickie Bradley, Talk Show Host

“You have to have corresponding bank relationships otherwise you can’t be in the modern world.”

 

Said Musa

“Of course. Of course.”

 

Dickie Bradley

“So you are saying that it’s the government of Belize…”

 

Said Musa

“Yes. They are falling down on the job like in every other sphere. Completely.”

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