British newspapers and the BBC are reporting that Allen Stanford may have avoided scrutiny of his bank in Antigua because he was a drug informant for American anti-drug agents. Stanford's assets have been frozen as part of an investigation into an alleged $8 billion fraud related to the sale of CDs.

The Independent of Britain wrote that Stanford's status as a confidential informant may have given Stanford some protection from financial regulators. The connection could explain why a 2006 SEC investigation of his bank was dropped on the request of another government agency.

BBC's Panorama quoted a source that was close to the DEA as saying, "We were convinced that Stanford's bank attracted millions of narco-dollars but it was very difficult to get the evidence to nail him. The word is that Stanford has been a confidential informer for the DEA since at least 1999."

The paper said it has confidential documents that show the British Foreign Office and the American authorities knew Stanford faced personal bankruptcy in 1982 after his first business, a chain of health clubs, went bust. British authorities stepped out of the investigation when Stanford moved his bank from a British territory, Montserrat, to Antigua, which became independent from the UK in 1981.

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