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The United Kingdom’s overseas territory, the British Virgin Islands, has moved from an area of just “concern” to “primary concern” in the US’ latest money laundering report.

The report released Thursday by the State Department, shows the BVI moving into the “Jurisdictions of Primary Concern” column, meaning it is now considered among “major money laundering countries.”

ImageAs the first Anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake which rocked Haiti on 12 January 2010 looms, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is continuing its steady and multi-pronged support to this Member State.

At a recently concluded meeting co-ordinated by the Office of the Special Representative of CARICOM Heads of Government on Haiti, the Most Honourable Percival Patterson, and bringing together officials of the Government of Haiti, the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and a cross section of the Diaspora and regional private sector, progress was made in preparing projects in the priority areas determined by the Government of Haiti for submission to the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) which is working closely with the World Bank as the custodian of a US $5.8 billion Haiti Reconstruction Fund. The priority areas identified include housing and settlement development; physical and environmental planning; and infrastructure development and coordination. This meeting, called following discussions between Mr Patterson and the President of Haiti, His Excellency René Préval last December represents a critical step towards the development and reconstruction of Haiti.

ImageResidents of three Children homes in rural Jamaican communities were feted at a Christmas treat hosted by Friends Reaching Friends, a group of volunteers from the Holy Sacrament Church in Pembroke Pines, recently.

The children were from Clifton Boys' Home in Darliston, Westmoreland; St. Monica's Children's Home, Chapelton, Clarendon; and the Granville Children's Home, Falmouth, Trelawny.

The problems of DYC Fishing Ltd. based in Kingston, Jamaica continue on several fronts.

The exporter of fish, lobster and conch is now battling with the Government of Martinique over the ownership of four containers of conch meat reportedly worth an excess of $1.2 million. These containers were seized in September by Martinique officials.

The company Krustafish, is now claiming that DYC Fishing Ltd and its alleged Marketing agent, Wasamaki Ltd, committed fraud by using the bar codes belonging to Krustafish to import products into Martinique. Pursuant to custom laws, this practice is illegal.