February 23, 2009

Antigua says it will cooperate with SEC

Five regional banks in Antigua said they would help the government run the Stanford International Bank, which is under investigation for fraud.

''The government is committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect the interest of the people of Antigua and Barbuda,'' Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said, the Miami Herald reported Monday.

Spencer also pledged the Antiguan government would cooperate the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation.

The Herald reported the governments of Antigua and Barbuda owe Texas billionaire Allen Stanford more than $100 million.

Stanford, who has dual Antiguan-U.S. citizenship, was formerly Antigua's chief financier for government projects. He has been accused of misleading investors in a fraud worth about $8 billion.

Nearby Caribbean governments expressed concern the fraud could disrupt the region's economy.

It's a matter that relates the monetary stability of the region, Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said.