Carib Has Assets Frozen in Belize

27 February 2004

Serious accusations around one of the industry's most well-known online sports books has forced law enforcement officials in both the United States and Belize to team up and freeze the assets of Carib Sports Book and Casino Ltd.

Officials with Carib had no comment about the situation when reached by Interactive Gaming News on Friday, but a TV report out of Belize claimed that the Belize government froze the bank accounts of the company.

The move came after officials with the United States Department of Justice and Belize's Financial Intelligence Unit worked under terms of a treaty between the two countries. DOJ officials asked Belize to freeze the funds after a "lengthy" investigation into possible money laundering activities within the Carib empire.

U.S. officials reportedly told the FIU that there was strong evidence that the company and its principals were engaged in money laundering activities. Keith Arnold, the head of the FIU, told a local Belize TV station that assets were frozen at three different banks where Carib had accounts. Atlantic International Bank and Provident Bank froze the accounts on the request of the FIU, as did a local Belize bank, Alliance.

Arnold, who was unavailable for comment to IGN, told the TV station that the assets were frozen in largely due to recent changes in local legislation. The freeze is a temporary one, scheduled to last three days, but a hearing was scheduled for Friday in the Supreme Court to determine if the freeze should be extended beyond the three-day period.

The station said it had received calls from employees of a Carib subsidiary, Fulton Data, saying that by freezing the company's assets more than 80 Belizeans could be laid off from their jobs. Arnold said the freeze doesn't prevent the company from bringing in funds from abroad in order to meet its payroll.

Lila Leslie, the marketing director for Carib Sports, said officials with the company weren't commenting on the story or at liberty to discuss what the possible money laundering allegations are. She said she couldn't even confirm, nor deny, that the assets had been frozen as a result of any investigation.

"There is just nothing that I can say right now about anything," she said.

More details are expected to come to light after the Supreme Court hearing in Belize on Friday.

Nobody knows where Kevin Smith came from. He simply showed up one day and started writing articles for IGN. We liked him, so we decided to keep him. We think you'll like him too. Kevin can be reached at