In 1999, the UK and US Government Treasuries both issued Advisories against the Nation of Antigua & Barbuda following weakening of its Money Laundering (Prevention) Act and certain appointments to its financial regulatory board, which included R. Allen Stanford.
It was only the second time in history that a financial embargo of such nature had been applied to an entire country.
Such was the concern that the nation had failed to grasp the principles of financial crime, international money laundering and the importance of proper governance.
Soon after the Advisories were lifted in 2001, amid promises of change and commitment to good governance, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda began the process of expropriating the Half Moon Bay Resort, a private property owned exclusively by a group of American citizens, overtly claiming it was to be handed to Stanford for ownership and re-development, in settlement of an apparent national debt to that individual.
After Stanford was denounced as a fraudster and since the original premise of expropriation was founded in fraud, observers expected that the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, as a new prudential jurisdiction, would have been extremely anxious to return the property to its rightful owners, along with appropriate payment for damages caused by its wrongful application of eminent domain.
Instead, behind an avalanche of implausible excuses and deliberate actions, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has sacrificed all of its commitments to change and good governance in an expensive pursuit to retain the property and avoid paying any compensation at all.
As such, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has become a proven, willing, and fully complicit partner to international money laundering.
Whilst no formal action has yet been taken directly against Antigua & Barbuda for complicity with international money laundering, international bodies are becoming increasingly frustrated at the conduct and behaviour of this Caribbean nation.
The prevailing lawlessness with regard to internationally established standards of behaviour is a natural extension of the disregard shown by Antiguan& Barbudan authorities for Antigua & Barbuda's own rule of law.
The latest illustration of that fact can be found in the significant ruling on the HMB matter by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal, on 28 November 2013.
Firstly, the Court of Appeal declared that the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has breached the Constitutional Rights of the owners of the Half Moon Bay Resort by its continuous failure to pay proper and prompt compensation.
Secondly, it confirmed its own judgement of December 2011 as to the quantum of compensation owed, where the interest on unpaid debt that has been allowed to grow through on-going refusals to adhere to the dictum of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, has brought the current debt to US$75.5 million dollars.
To the weight of this indictment, Antigua's Attorney General, Justin Simon has responded by dismissing it as "hollow", since no additional financial damages have been imposed on the Government's breach of citizens' constitutional rights!
Unfortunately for Antigua, it appears that senior officers of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda are unaware of the rising tide of international disquiet.
Even the Leader of the Opposition, Gaston Browne, fighting to become Antigua's next Prime Minister, pending the upcoming elections in March 2014, chose the day of the Court of Appeal Decision to suggest that the People of Antigua could have taken the land for nominal fee using "a five percent non-developed land tax."
Given that the "land" was under a fully developed resort, this too would have amounted to expropriation.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, John Maginley, claimed that the Government was in discussions with another imaginary investor to develop the resort with the benefits of the Citizenship by Investment Programme greasing the skids.
And so it goes. And so it will go, until it can go no further.
Reality may hit home at the end of January, when the matter moves to the Privy Council in London, almost seven years after its original judgment allowed the application of eminent domain, provided the rights of the dispossessed owners were protected by the Act under which eminent domain was granted and by the Constitution of Antigua & Barbuda.
It is likely that their lordships will be less impressed by some of the more fanciful claims of Antigua's officials and more focused in examining why their judgment has been abused and held in contempt.