Antigua And Barbuda: Between Two Superpowers


Rawlston Pompey

Through a ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty,’ the nation appeared to have submitted its ‘Sovereignty’ to United States monopoly. It may have unwittingly permitted its ‘Security Forces’ and a disguised team of foreign investigators as ‘FBI Observers’ in conducting a search of ‘Russian Superyacht Alfa Nero.’ It may have been confused over the declaration of; (a) ‘War on Crime; (b) War on Drug; (c); War on Superyacht; and War on a Nation.’ A news story states that; ‘The Yacht and its Russian owner, Andrey Guryev on sanctions lists issued by the United States, United Kingdom and European Union’ [ABS TV/Radio: August 20, 2022].


This commentary looks at: (i) ‘The Shiprider’ Agreement and Bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT): (ii) The ‘United States’ position on; (v) ‘The Shiprider’ Agreement that may have been properly used; (iii) Role and function of the ‘ONDCP:’ (iv) Role and function of the DPP: (v) Expedient use of ‘MLA Treaty; (vi) Search of a ‘Russian Superyacht; (vii) Suspect reasons and timing for the ‘Search;’ and (viii) Implications for future ‘Foreign Relations’ with Russia.’


In a world, torn by ‘Strife and War,’ even when it was obvious that a moral wrong was committed, struggling under economic depression, weak nations shall follow those with thriving economies, but also militarily strong.  Whatever, and whichever nation shall be used in achieving their objectives, if the ‘End justifies the means,’ then small nations shall be used. When State-owned media revealed that ‘Russian Superyacht, Alfa Nero’ was searched by local law enforcement agencies, it was never because they had reasonable grounds for suspecting that the ‘Skipper and Crew’ had entered its territorial waters illegally. Neither could it have been said that the ‘Yacht and Crew’ were engaged in; (a) Narcotics; (b) Gun; (c) Human smuggling; or (d) Human trafficking.’


Regional leadership shall know that when two ‘Superpower nations’ begin to ‘Squabble’ over armed conflict, vulnerable nations become sandwiched in the middle.  Their attitude and their global influence, economic and military dominance, have positioned them to make pawns of small independent and non-independent States. Though no island-nation had provoked the ‘Russia/Ukraine War,’ and has neither the economic power or military capacity to wage war, several islands have been drawn into the armed conflict. This has been so, for reasons of their colonial status and decisions taken by the colonial powers. The case of ‘British Dependencies; (i) ‘Anguilla: (ii) Bahamas; (iii) British Virgin Islands,’ as well as the independent nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda,’ makes the point.


Notwithstanding a war was being fought thousands of miles away from the ‘Eastern Caribbean,’ no ‘Caribbean Leader’ shall treat lightly its impact on the international community. Clear warnings have been given to all a sundry by ‘Russian President Vladmir Putin.’ As the ‘United Kingdom’ has featured prominently in the call for international ‘Sanctions’ to be imposed on the ‘Russian’ nation, its ‘Dependencies’ have not escaped the attention of ‘President Vladmir Putin.’ Consequently, the ‘President’ has listed the Caribbean islands of; (i)Anguilla [March 9, 2022]; (ii) Bahamas [Loop: July 25, 2022]; and (iii) British Virgin Islands’ as ‘Unfriendly Countries’ [Moscow: TASS: Moscow: July 24, 2022].


These innocent ‘Island Dependencies,’ for want of ‘Sovereignty,’ international status, and a voice in ‘World Affairs,’ continue to labor under ‘Colonial Rule.’ As ‘British Dependencies,’ such status has subjected these ‘Island States’ to share the ‘Sins of Britain,’ and consequentially made to carry its ‘Cross.’ They have been prevented from conducting ‘International Business’ with ‘Russian’ companies and banking institutions. In the case of independent ‘Antigua and Barbuda,’ it has been drawn in for reasons of a ‘Bilateral Treaty’ on ‘Trans-National Crime.’ Instructively, this nation enjoys no diplomatic ties with the ‘Nations-at-War.’ The only war it has known, is the ‘Online Gaming Dispute,’ ironically, with the ’United States.’


Not only had the independent island nations in the ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM)’ and Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)’ were at variance with the ‘United States, but also its lopsided content of the ‘Agreement.’ From an economic standpoint, unlike certain other nations, the ‘United States’ has never been seen as the best of ‘Economic Friends,’ to this nation. If it were so, then the long running ‘Online Gaming Dispute’ shall have been long settled. Besides, if this ‘Superpower’ nation had regard for ‘Organizational rules, regulations and arbitration decisions,’ then it shall have complied with its ‘International Trade Dispute Ruling.’ Its unfriendliness,’ began with the contentious ‘Shiprider’ Agreement.’


Individually and/or collectively, these impoverished islands, scattered across the Caribbean Sea,’ are neither of any ‘Strategic Importance’ nor of natural resources or economic interests to ‘Russia.’ Besides, they pose no threat, military or otherwise. With no international voice or influence, these ‘British Dependencies’ continue to struggle either for economic assistance or for another status. They have all been restricted by ‘Britain’ from conducting business, either with ‘Russian Companies or Banks’ [Moscow: TASS: Moscow: July 24, 2022].  It may not have been considered diplomatically fatal or foolhardy, given the steely resolve of an imperious ‘Russian President.’


As seen through television footage, the, world has seen ‘Horrendous Imagery of a War’ being waged, not only relentlessly and with ferocious intensity, but also in the most; (a) ‘Deadly; (b) Destructive; and (c) Costly’ way. Research has revealed startling statistical data. For instance, there have been ‘29, 587 Deaths: Injured 52, 890: People displaced from their homes, 14 million.’ Buildings reportedly destroyed were said to have been ‘2, 841.’ Damage assessment was described as ‘US$750 billion’ [Reuters: August 23, 2022]. In spite of not reacting to the permitted search of the ‘Superyacht Alfa Nero’ within its maritime borders, there may still be ‘Disquieting Consequences’ for the nation.


In providing ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ to another ‘Superpower- United States’ in ‘Searching the Russian Superyacht,’ it shall have been seen as a show of ‘Detestation and Condemnation’ of the military wrath descended upon the ‘Ukrainian nation and people.’ Though quietly supportive of ‘International Sanctions,’ the nation shall rightfully claim its commitment to, and discharge of its ‘International Obligations’ on ‘Crime and Punishment.’ This is irrefutably what ‘MLAT’ is all about. Given the timing and ‘Execution of the Request,’ somebody shall have seen that it was more in keeping with avoidance of the ‘Shiprider’ Agreement.’  


Consequent upon the long established ‘Shiprider’ Agreement,’ had the intention been; (a) ‘Nabbing its crew; and (b) Seizing the luxurious ‘Superyacht,’ such shall have been easily achieved without the intervention of the ‘Security Forces.’ Though seemingly no a disconcerting factor, making public the ‘Request,’ suggested that the nation had been exploited in playing the dangerous ‘Kremlin’s Game- Russian Roulette.’ The purposes of the ‘Bilateral Treaty’ that speaks to; (a) ‘Criminal investigation; (b) Prosecution; and (c) Crime prevention.’


Given these purposes, the issue of ‘Sanctions’ bears no relationship to any criminal act known to local law enforcers. The nation appeared to have confused support for ‘International Sanctions’ with rendering ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ to the ‘United States’ in investigating ‘Trans-national Crime. The ‘Search Request’ made by ‘US Federal Authorities,’ was for the purposes of facilitating conduct of ‘Supervised Investigations’ on the ‘Russian-owned Superyacht Alfa Nero.’


Clearly, with its desire to restrict; (a) ‘Investment Migration to the region; and (b) Seizure and recovery of illegitimate or criminal proceeds,’ nations then affected, considered it necessary to enter into bilateral arrangements. Such entails a ‘Treaty’ called ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ with regional territories. Such allows for nations to seek judicial authority in assisting in bringing those alleged or suspected ‘Financial Criminals’ to justice. This nation, seeking to safeguard its fragile tourism-based economy, saw some developed nations, devised ways in crippling this nation, and the region’s economy.


Cited most of the independent islands as ‘Major Money Laundering Centres’ [US: INSCR: 2018], they have accused these islands of operating financial systems that were either unregulated or poorly regulated. Several were ‘Black Listed.’  Consequently, this saw the establishment of the ‘Watch Dog Agency- Financial Action Task Force (FATF). They have stipulated ‘Recommendations’ to guide the conduct of ‘Financial Transactions.’ Ensuring that the suspected ‘MLCs’ were closely monitored, they strategically placed in the heart of the Caribbean, an affiliate agency called ‘Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)’ [Trinidad and Tobago: November 1996].


Published accusatory claims describing Caribbean countries, particularly those with the ‘Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP)’ as ‘Major Money Laundering Jurisdictions’ [NSCR: 2018], had been seen as the cause of provocation consternation in the region’s leadership. Exercising more strangulating power, these ‘Small Island States’ were further coerced into giving legislative consideration to the strengthening ‘Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.’ Even when it affected their national economic interest and relations with other friendly countries, except ‘Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ [St. Vincent and the Grenadines], most ‘CARICOM/OECS’ leaders, seemed mortally afraid to venture an open criticism of ‘US Foreign Policies’ towards them.


Subjecting ‘CIP ‘Revenue Stream,’ to intense scrutiny, baseless accusation and mounting foreign pressure, prompted a provocative swipe by ‘Prime Minister Browne.’ Contemptuous, yet with testicular fortitude, he was quoted as saying; ‘When they come with these ‘Audacious Mendacities,’ they are undermining relationship between the ‘United States and CARICOM countries.’ Though not necessarily trying to ‘Blow Steam’ on a hot summer day, continuing, his delivery, he was further quoted as saying; ‘The United States is becoming more and more hostile’ toward these nations in leveling ‘Money Laundering Accusations’ against them [Investment Migration Insider: April 18, 2018]. Somehow, fearing ‘Economic Repercussions,’ he too, avoided reading the entire ‘Riot Act’ to ‘United States Justice Department.


The ‘British and European nations and the United States,’ were well aware of the thriving ‘Online Gaming Industry’ in the region. To all intents and purposes, they appeared to have connivingly and collaboratively devised an approach in dismantling this industry, considered a ‘Vital Revenue Stream.’ Then some fifteen (15) years after severing the umbilical cord of ‘British Colonialism’ [November 1, 1981], the nation, along with other independent regional States have been coerced into being a party to a ‘Foreign-Decided Treaty.’ The ‘Shiprider’ Agreement,’ though reciprocal, the unilaterally-decided contents provide for the ‘United States’ to have ‘Unfettered Access,’ and to conduct ‘Counter-narcotic operations, as it deems necessary


This ‘Agreement’ was not without controversy. The regional leadership abhorred it. The leaders felt that the ‘Agreement’ serves only to protect the national interests of the ‘United States’. Though some fearfully and quietly expressed and had shown meaningless reluctance, unable to avoid its wrath, and harboring no illusions, the ‘OECS’ wriggled, but buckled, and eventually yielded to ‘Superpower Coercion.’ This, undoubtedly, speaks to its imposing attitude of ‘Superpower Nations.’ This was not the case for two of ‘CARICOM’s larger States.


Incidentally, the ‘Agreement’ allows contracting parties permission for their respective Law enforcement agencies to; (a) ‘…Pursue and intercept vessels in each other’s territorial sea to; (a) Apprehend vessels and crew; (b) Ship boarding; (c) Shipriding; and (d) Overflight in territorial airspaces’ [1996]. Though not so written, the ‘Shiprider’ Agreement’ speaks to surrendering the nation’s ‘Sovereignty.’ Similarly, the same can be said of the ‘MLA Treaty.’ Instructively, the former excludes joint- local law enforcement agencies, even within their respective ‘Maritime Boundaries and Airspaces.’


Entered into force in their respective jurisdictions [July 1, 1999], the ‘MLA Treaty’ sets out ‘Specifics’ to be contained in the event of a ‘Request.’ These shall include: (i) ‘Name of the authority conducting the investigation, prosecution or proceedings; (ii) Description of subject-matter; and (iii) Nature and criminal offence [Article 3]. A key component in the ‘Treaty’ is ‘Confidentiality.’ It unambiguously states; ‘The ‘Requested State’ shall use its best efforts to keep confidential; (i) ‘A Request; and (ii) Its Contents’ [Article 5 (5)]. As it affects ‘Costs’ for executing the said ‘Request,’ such shall be borne by the ‘Requested State.’ Conversely, costs relating to incidentals involving; (a) ‘Expert witnesses: (b) Translation; (c) Interpretation: and (d) Transcription,’ shall be borne by the ‘Requesting State’ [Article 6].


The ‘Scope of Assistance’ as contained in the ‘19 Articles.’ As lettered in the ‘Treaty,’ a ‘Written Request’ shall contain inter alia; (c) ‘Locating and identifying persons of interests; (d) Service of Documents; (e) Transferring persons detained/arrested in custody; (f) Executing request for Searches and Seizures; (g) Immobilizing and forfeiture of assets; and (h) Any other form of assistance not prohibited by law’ [Article 2]. Anticipating that a ‘Request’ may not find favor with a ‘Requested State,’ the ‘Treaty’ states; ‘The execution of the ‘Request’ may be denied if it would; (a) ‘Prejudice the nation’s Security or other essential public interests of the ‘Requested State; or (b) If its execution would be prejudice to the ‘Constitution’ [Article 3].


Even as the ‘United States’ conjured up the ‘Agreement,’ this nation had no desire, and no expressed intention in establishing ‘Bilateral Counternarcotics Cooperation’ with any nation [JSTOR: 1998]. However, with its ‘Economic Interests’ at stake, under a coercive spell, it became ‘Signatory’ with other regional States. The States offering stubborn resistance were identified as ‘Jamaica and Barbados.’ The ‘United States’ perceived them as ‘recalcitrant.’ Demonstrating some degree of intolerance, a US representative was quoted as saying that the Caribbean leadership has shown ‘lack of appreciation for the drug problem’ [1996]. Imposing its will on these two nations, saw the implementation of punishing economic measures.


Clearly, reasonable inferences might be drawn that this ‘Agreement’ speaks more to ‘Superpower Exploitation.’ It is to be used conveniently, and as situations developed. In fact, that has been the only way the region has, and continues to see the both ‘Agreement and Treaty.’ Touting the concept, ‘Reciprocal Cooperation,’ it shall have been sufficiently clear to all nations that in the middle of armed conflict, the nation has been used conveniently. With or without logistical support, a ‘Marine Patrol and ‘an Airwing,’ the US territorial borders are off-limit to the conduct of any such operations.


The ‘Streaks of Stubbornness’ exhibited in signing the ‘Agreement’ saw the ‘Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA)’ [Barbados], being downgraded and became restrictive to ‘American Carriers.’ Similarly, when ‘Jamaica’ resisted aspects of the ‘Agreement,’ Aid to its ‘Defence Force (JDF)’ was quickly suspended. Subsequently, it was forced to revisit the biding contents.’ This resulted when two of its fisherfolk were reasonably suspected of being ‘Kidnapped at Sea,’ and removed to a ‘US Jurisdiction.’ The Jamaican leadership insisted on fundamental changes. To its satisfaction, it signed a ‘New Agreement’ that allow for non-interception of Jamaican fisherfolk [JIS: February 6, 2004]. Consequently, normal ‘Foreign Relations’ was restored [Joc Com: July 2, 1997 and July 25, 1997].


This nation, bound by a ‘Bilateral Treaty,’ has found itself virtually entrapped between the two leading ‘Superpower nations- United States and Russia.’ The very carefully crafted ‘Treaty Objectives’ presented by the ‘United States’ and foisted upon the ‘CARICOM AND OECS,’ states a; ‘Desire to improve the effectiveness of the ‘Law enforcement authorities’ of both countries in; (a) ‘Investigation; (b) Prosecution; and (c) Prevention of crime through cooperation and ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ in criminal matters.’  It was duly signed [St. John’s: October 31, 1996]; Ratified by the ‘United States President’ [USA: January 20, 1999]; and accorded ‘Parliamentary Ratification’ by ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ [ANU: June 17: 1999].’


Non-aligned and non-aggressive, the tiny108-square mile nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ had been sucked into the ‘Russian/Ukrainian’ conflict. That which it shall have known, was the ‘United States’ had found it being ‘Expediently and Conveniently’ useful. Those responsible for making ‘Policy-Decision,’ shall have known of all ‘Available Options.’ Thus, they shall have considered that which served the national interests.’ Conversely, options that serve the interest of a requesting nation, shall be made available to them. These shall be conditional upon a duly ratified ‘Agreement or Treaty.’


This ‘Treaty’ appears more ‘Advantageously Beneficial’ to the ‘United States’ and its allies ‘Britain and the European Union,’ than it has been to the ‘National Economic Interests.’ Given this ‘Treaty,’ this nation shall, at all material times, through its ‘Law Enforcement Agencies and Agents,’ act lawfully, justifiably and professionally.  The apparent ‘Strategically-Timed Request’ from the ‘United States of America’ and a ‘Bilateral Treaty,’ saw the ‘Security Forces’ along with a team of ‘FBI investigators, reportedly converged on the ‘Russian Superyacht Alfa Nora.’


The luxurious seacraft had not only lawfully entered the nation’s territorial marine borders, but also completed ‘Customs and Immigration’ formalities to remain under legal protection. A war being waged thousands of miles away from the region was reported to being fought with ferocious intensity, sustained by heavy artillery bombardment. This was when ‘Russian President Vladimir Putin’ used his ‘Armed Forces,’ to impose his nation’s ‘Military Might’ on the nation, people and government of ‘Ukraine.’ Responding non-militarily, the ‘United States; United Kingdom; and the European Union,’ immediately called for ‘Economic Sanctions’ to be imposed against the warmongering nation and oligarchy assets’ [February 24, 2022].


When this nation acceded to a ‘Search Request,’ it may have, in a subservient way, subordinated its independence and sovereignty to the dictates of the ‘United States.’ It may have been seen that the sovereign and independent nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ has been laboring under ‘Diplomatic Illusions’ that it was obliged to lend support to the nations that had called for imposition of ‘Sanctions’ against ‘Russia.’ But in war, there is no such thing as ‘Diplomacy.’ Given the ‘Russian/Ukrainian War,’ and the call by the ‘United States’ for the imposition of ‘Economic Sanctions,’ including ‘Seizure of Russian assets and Superyachts,’ it required no ‘Diplomatic Science,’ to show what was intended


If this nation were to be seen for its ‘Neutrality,’ then ‘National Security Strategists’ shall have looked for the ‘Easiest Way Out.’ Therefore, instead of acceding to the ‘Search Request’ under the ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT),’ the ‘Optional Shiprider’ Agreement’ may have been considered. That which may have been usefully done, was allowance for the ‘Russian Superyacht’ to be; (a) ‘Replenish with fuel: (b) Ship stores: (c) Completion of Port, Customs and Immigration formalities’ and safe and unimpeded departure of the ‘Alfa Nero.’ Thus, with its marine presence,’ utilization of the ‘Shiprider’ Agreement,’ would have well-positioned the ‘United States’ to deploy its ‘Coastguard and Maritime Airwing’ in achieving its objectives.


Even with the grotesque statistics, the searching of the ‘Russian Superyacht’ lends neither justification, nor moral support to one ‘Superpower’ against another. That which they have over the ordinary membership of the ‘United Nations,’ is a ‘Veto Power.’ Now, seemingly ‘Awkwardly Wedged’ between the two leading ‘Superpowers,’ the nation shall be mindful of both its ‘Foreign Policies and Foreign Relations.’ It has been universally known that ‘United States’ nationals moving to invest capital in foreign jurisdictions, were often suspected of being involved in activities starved of legitimacy.


None may deny that region seems to hold magnetism for ‘International Crooks, Fraudsters and Swindlers’ (ICFS). Likened to Mariners facing a storm, many have sought ‘Foreign Protection.’ Some have sought a place of refuge to nest and hatched suspected or questionable acquisition of wealth.’  None may also deny that most Caribbean nations have not been internationally known for producing and exporting ‘Investors’ accused of committing ‘Financial Crimes.’ This nation has seen the fraudulent exploits of convicted ‘Ponzi-Schemer, R. Allen Stanford’ [USA: March 6, 2012]. He has brought notoriety to ‘Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).’


It is not only the responsibility of States to protect their ‘State Assets,’ but also their national economic and public interest. Those that have often come under ‘US Financial and Economic Scrutiny,’ include; (a) ‘Fraudsters; (b) Swindlers; (c) Money Launderers; and (d) Ponzi-Schemers.’ Research has shown that some came disguisedly as; (a) ‘Foreign Investors; or (b) To acquire economic citizenship.’ Given subsequent developments, none may dispute that some that came to invest, have been identified as ‘Fugitives from Justice.’ They either came from the ‘United States; China; or India.’ Some have sought to escape the ‘Long Arm of Law.’ Though, some ‘Treaties’ have placed them within easy reach, some with mega wealth have capitalized on that which the ‘Judicial System’ provides.


By an apparent act of expediency, the office of the ‘Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’ had been expediently used by the ‘Central Authority’ in giving effect to ‘Articles’ contained in the ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).’ In fact, the office and office holder, are ‘Creatures of the Constitution’ [CO: Section 87: 1981]. The ‘Role and Functions’ of a ‘DPP’ are well described in the ‘Constitution Order’ [Section 88 (1): CO: 1981]. That which shall not be disputable, is that the office holder has responsibility for ‘Public Prosecutions.’ Though he/she lacks no legal understanding of ‘Treaties and Agreements,’ the ‘DPP’ does not coordinate or conduct ‘Criminal Investigations.’


Notwithstanding, given his/her legal expertise, nothing precludes them from undertaking oversight of matters that may be directed to the office. Suffice to say, that certain matters such as ‘International Agreements and Treaties,’ are expected to be directed to those with responsibility for handling the nation’s ‘Legal Affairs.’ Objectively, there shall be no doubt that the ‘Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs’ has been properly staffed with qualified, competent and efficient ‘Legal Officers.’ These include; (i) ‘An erudite Attorney General’ and ‘Principal Legal Adviser to the Government [Section 82]: (ii) A Solicitor General: (iii) Deputy Solicitor General; and (iv) Crown Solicitor.’


The nation, being fully aware that the ‘United States’ and its ‘European Allies’ have imposed ‘Sanctions’ against ‘Russia,’ may have been ‘Circumspect’ of its ‘Search Request. These are the officers that, shall referrals made, shall have been well informed to guide an administration of its ‘Best Legal Options.’  When these officers were seemingly overlooked from legal guidance of the contents of a ‘Treaty,’ this could very well lead to speculations that the ‘Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs’ may have been staffed with more ‘Legal Quacks,’ than are heard from non-whistling ducks. Though it might be so speculated, this may not necessarily be the case.


Given its response to the ‘Request,’ it shall have been seen that it had, in fact, discharged its ‘International Obligation.’ Though not necessarily supportive of ‘Russia’s’ armed intervention into ‘Ukraine,’ the nation may still be considered imprudent utilizing its ‘Agencies’ in searching the ‘Russian Superyacht. This may have eliminated perceptions or suggestions that this nation acted in consort with the ‘United States.’ This may have been avoided, but only to the extent that ‘National Security Strategists,’ if any, have been ‘Thinking’ of other options. Such have been seen as advisedly useful in guiding a better-informed decision. Except ‘Prosecutorial Strategy,’ in other endeavors, a ‘DPP’ possesses no such attribute.’


In executing the ‘Ship rider’ Agreement’ it has been the experience one of the contracting parties, neither know when US Coastguard patrolled, conducted operations nor conclude their operations. However, news reports often informed of ‘Narcotics Seizures’ in the ‘Caribbean Sea’ [ANR: September 3, 2022]. Thus, utilizing its air and marine services, these would have allowed for the ‘United States’ agencies and agents to; (a) ‘Pursue: (b) Disable by force, if necessary: (c) Intercept; (d) Conduct search; (e) Arrest crew and passengers: and (f) Seize the targeted Russian Superyacht.’ This would have been consistent with the long established ‘Bilateral Shiprider’ Agreement.’ Moreover, it would also have achieved the objectives sought under the ‘Treaty’ [MLAT: Article 14].


After plundering the region, and the British had left many ‘Island States’ financially depressed, this nation may have been given good reasons to have aught against both ‘Britain and the United States.’ Though the nation shares ‘Economic Relationship’ with the ‘Republic of China,’ it has no desire to sever diplomatic relations with these nations. It shall not be lost to oblivion that this nation has been struggling under ‘Economic Strangulation.’ Research has shown that some thirteen (13) years after severing ‘British Colonialism,’ this nation has been engaged in a long running and unresolved ‘Online Gaming Dispute’ with the ‘United States.’ Through ‘Trade Arbitration,’ and a modest right to the imposition of sanctions, this nation has shown extraordinary tolerance and restraint.


Though it has the ‘Talk,’ it seems mortally fearful of imposing sanctions against this offending ‘Super powerful nation’ [Geneva: Reuters: December 21, 2007]. This nation’s position is given to clear ‘International Understanding.’ Though geographically located nearby, it bears no animosity toward any country, ‘East and West.’ It contemplates no territorial conflict, and thus, seeks no engagement in any armed conflict with any nation. In fact, without ‘an Airforce; Army or Navy.’ This nation is ‘Militarily Powerless.’ Notwithstanding the ideological differences, be it; ‘Capitalist; Communist of Extremist or Leftist,’ with or without diplomatic relations, this nation, government and people consider themselves friend to members of the international community.


It has been universally known that ‘Leaders of Superpower Nations,’ are well-positioned to ‘Exert Influence’ and are always ready to impose their will upon small island-States. Not for the first time the economic and military-powerful ‘United States of America’ has imposed its will upon the impoverished nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda.’ For this nation, as it was for its regional neighbors, US authorities have placed these impoverished States under ‘Serious Economic Pressure.’ Given this nation’s heavy reliance on its market for ‘Tourism and Online Gaming Industries,’ it could do nothing, but to cooperate. This may have been obvious in the ‘Shiprider’ Agreement’ [1999].


It has been the professional knowledge and practice that certain law enforcement operations shall be conducted ‘Overtly.’ Conversely, dependent upon the sensitive nature of the issue, some operations shall be conducted ‘Covertly.’ Be it a request under a ‘Treaty’ or pertaining to acts of criminality, success is dependent upon four fundamentals; These include; (i) ‘Intelligence gathering, sourced or observed: (ii) Confidentiality; (ii) The element of Surprise; and (iv) Timing.’  In the case of ‘MLAT,’ except those concerned with execution,’ none shall know of a ‘Request’ so made, neither shall persons not connected thereto, shall know of the ‘Contents.’


Invariably, these are very complex operations that may concerned certain type of evidence. More over these ‘Operations’ often placed personnel at ‘High-Risk.’ Hence, these operations are not only to be done ‘Covertly,’ but also with every precautionary measure taken, either for; (a) ‘Personal safety; (b) …Concealment of identity; and (iii) Avert defeating the ends of justice.’ That which recently captured public attention has been a ‘Press Release’ reportedly authored and disseminated by the ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs.’ Published on several news portals, it revealed information that ‘Only who needs to know.’ Whatever may have informed the decision, a ‘Press Release,’ revealed that an operation had been conducted on the ‘Russian Yacht, Alfa Nora’ [ANR: August 20, 2022].


Statutorily, the ‘ONDCP’ has primary responsibility for ‘Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing.’ Though there has often been ‘Military Aid to Civil Power’ given to; (a) ‘The Police Service and ONDCP;’ (b) Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF), along with ‘Support Services’ from (c) Customs and Excise Department’ are functionaries to ‘Criminal Law Enforcement Agencies.’ For clear reasons of ‘Expediency,’ these ‘Forces,’ had been compelled to act under ‘Judicial Authority.’ The ‘19-Article,’ duly ratified ‘Treaty’ allows for both nations to make formal written request for ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ [Article 2 (4)]. None shall be misguided of the primary enforcement statutorily-created agency, ‘Office of National Drug and Control Policy (ONDCP).’


As the agency’s name suggests, it guides the sitting administration on internationally adoptive policies. The agency under the direction of ‘Lt. Colonel Edward Croft’ has demonstrated a capacity in conducting ‘Anti-Drug and Money Laundering’ operations. While there has often been ‘Military Aid to Civil Power,’ with support services provided by the; (a) ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF); and (b) Customs and Excise Department,’ these are functionaries to ‘Criminal Law Enforcement Agencies ‘Police and ONDCP.’ These agencies operate under the organizational name ‘Security Forces.’ Inter-agency cooperation dictates that these agencies pool resources when conducting ‘Joint Operations’ for the national good.


None may deny that most Caribbean nations have never been internationally known for producing and exporting ‘Investors’ known for committing ‘Financial Crimes.’ None may also deny that the fraudulent exploits of ‘Convicted Ponzi-Schemer, R. Allen Stanford’ [USA: March 6, 2012], has brought notoriety to the nation as a place that seems to hold magnetism for ‘International Crooks, Fraudsters and Swindlers’ (ICFS).  Research has shown that some came, either under the posturing as; (a) ‘Foreign Investors; or (b) Acquisition of Citizenship.’ Therefore, none may deny or dispute that, some have been identified as ‘Fugitives from Justice.’ They either came from the ‘United States; China; or India.’ Some have sought to escape the ‘Long Arm of Law.’  Cognizance of these, and a desire to restrict illegitimate gains and net worth, and possibility of taking ‘Evasive Flights’ to foreign jurisdictions. Though, some ‘Treaties’ have placed some within easy reach, some have capitalized on that which the ‘Judicial System’ provides.  Such allows little scope for friendly nations to exercise Judicial Authority’ in assisting in bringing alleged or suspected ‘Fleeing Criminals’ to justice.

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    The System is flawed. The first step to correct the institutional thinking is to realize that “the biggest man you ever did see, was once a baby.”

    • Rawlston Pompey a great piece. I believe this is your most well written piece to date. Your only error was to list the Bahamas as a dependency of Britian like Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. The Bahamas is an independent country. I see that you were like a marksman at the Police Academy shooting range and fired some serious shots at the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Justice with your characterization of the staff as LEGAL QUACKS. I know that was intended as a joke.

  2. This is very unfortunate. One of the many issues that Caricom Leaders have been unable to do unlike the European Union, is form a strong Caribbean Union and especially one that focuses on strengthening the Caricom’s economic power. When Lybian President Gaddafi formed the African Union, Arab Socialist Union and World Islamic Call Society, it caught the attention of all these superpowers you mentioned in this article. Lead by the United States, and then Secretary of State Clinton, they lead an investigation into Mr. Gaddafi’s nation as having nuclear weapons. After he submissively adhere to the inspection and total removal of All such weapons, it was not enough. In my view it was his ambitious goal of uniting the African continent and making it a financial super power. This would have further lead to benefiting other nations like those of the Caribbean which would have been given the opportunity to align themselves with him. The selling point and agreement to join such a movement would have been easy as saying “yes”, since his goals were primarily based on the unambiguous fact that we share the same skin colour and that would make us not independent or dependent on our colonial predecessors and their friends, but make us United with our brothers and sisters, our family where our ancestors reside. This was the greatest threat and it had to be dealt with swiftly by any means necessary. Caribbean leaders are well aware of this and so even as they made us an ingredient of the sandwich, it is not even a necessary ingredient. For if it was so they would have long settled the gambling dispute but again, like all bullies, they don’t cower to the demands even if legally ask to do so, to the nerds for it would be a show of weakness.

  3. This is very unfortunate. One of the many issues that Caricom Leaders have been unable to do unlike the European Union, is form a strong Caribbean Union and especially one that focuses on strengthening the Caricom’s economic power. When Gaddafi formed the African Union,

  4. Mr. Pompey, I must commend you on a well written article – it might be a bit long but for those who take the time to read, it is worth it.

    Under your topic ‘Search on Open Sea’, I do not think that was an option the USA wanted because that might imply direct confronted with Russia and hence it was better to use Antigua via the MLAT agreement.

    Also, under your topic ‘Powerless’, you mention that the nation is ‘Militarily Powerless’. While that is true, the Superpower does not need to fight us with miltary power: the size and population of Antigua makes it POWERLESS. It is much easier for them to just blacklist us.

    I did mention early up when the media was talking about the Russians ships that Antigua has no right in Big People things but I guess with treaties that we signed there was no option.

  5. Pompey…a wah a guarne? As I sat at the Admirals Club several nights ago with my family, enjoying some good food, great jazz music and scenery’s, the Russian Yacht sat not fifty-yards away, and I asked myself, since, the days of Horacio Nelson when was this Nation not involved in some form of International battle and debacle(rhetorical).
    While, it serves Our Nation and of course, the wider Caribbean Region well to be more INDEPENDENT to avoid, the influence(s) of these #superpowers over our rights as sovereign Nations, I’ll port to another realm for 200 hundred years on the wings of #da_Gulls at Devil’_Bridge, return like Poseidon and we as a Nation will still be embroiled in some form of International debacle, as the Super Powers to include China and India vie for World dominance!

    Ain’t shit the Government is gonna do except comply with America and the EU request(s).

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