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‘False, Baseless, Malicious And Scandalous’ – Hilaire Speaks On CIP Fraud Claims

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On Wednesday night, Investment Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire defended Saint Lucia’s Citizenship By Investment Programme (CIP) against fraud allegations.

His defence came in a statement which appears on the Government Youtube page.

Hilaire described allegations by United Workers Party (UWP) leader Allen Chastanet and MSR Media’s Phillipe Martinez as concerning.

“It is concerning that the United Workers Party and, in particular, the leader of the opposition, Mr. Allen Chastanet, has aligned himself with this individual who has clearly embarked on a quest to destroy Saint Lucia and the CIP, our visa-free arrangements and corresponding banking relationships by making false, baseless, malicious and scandalous accusations of fraud and corruption in the CIP in Saint Lucia where there is none,” the Investment Minister declared.

Hilaire explained that Saint Lucia undertakes a rigorous due diligence process regarding each CIP applicant.

He disclosed that United States and United Kingdom firms review the applicants, with further due diligence by law enforcement and the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC).

The JRCC is a sub-agency of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementing Agency for Crime and Security.

The investment Minister said the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration does not use Chinese due diligence firms.

However, Hilaire noted that a Chinese due diligence firm was used under the Allen Chastanet administration, but the SLP government stopped it in November 2021.
Hilaire stated that from July 2021 to March 2024, the CIP Unit approved 2047 applications, of which 1,367 were real estate for Caribbean Galaxy.

Philippe Martinez, MRS Media SKN Ltd, and its affiliates have alleged in a lawsuit filed on May 23, 2024, that Caribbean Galaxy engaged in improper and illegal activities within the CIPs of Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia.

Caribbean Galaxy, which expanded its operations to Saint Lucia in 2018 and began constructing the Dreams Resort in early 2023, with additional plans for a Zoetry Resort, has denied the allegations.

Hilaire said contrary to claims by Martinez in a publicised interview and repeated by Allen Chastanet and the UWP, Saint Lucia never approved 14,000 applications.

“There is no $1.4 billion. We have only approved 1, 367 real estate applications for Galaxy,” the Minister declared.

He noted that United States authorities recommended an operational audit as part of a six-point plan for all CIP units.

“We will engage an international audit firm to immediately commence an audit and review of how the Unit has operated since it was established in 2016,” Hilaire stated.

He explained that the audit will be expected to confirm the number of applications received, the money collected and spent, how it is undertaken, and how the Unit can ensure greater accountability.

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Fraud or No Fraud ,CIP is B*******, selling passports to make money,all our Lands right how ridiculous, when d people in SLU cum from Africa sellout ,now ddh selling pasports,an sum claiming is dem birth

  2. ….. The United States, The United Kingdom, The JRCC, I can’t WAIT TO LAUGH HA HA HA, I am telling you about the Wickedness of The United Worthless Party watch these enemies of this state they are drowning and are looking for a straw or a strand of hair to cling to with the mindset to destroy this country and government for political power.

  3. Testing 456 Calling Lucian Highgrade …….. Highgrade are you still a Highgrade fool????????
    Highgrade fool are you there???????????????????? Highgrade idiot you still there??????? Highgrade????????????

  4. I stopped listening to Lisa Joseph and Martinez when he said that Galaxy was doing wrong in St Kitts but was not doing wrong in St Lucia at the same time while acknowledging that the project in St Kitts and St Lucia had not been started.

    And the guy started giving lots of interviews. Who does that? If you have a case let your case roll, you using Lisa Joseph to try to convince yourself or her that you have a case. Oh really!

  5. The Hero and the Warrior ❗
    The judge and prophet,the soothsayer and elder,men of rank,the councelor,skillled craftsman and clever enchanter !!!!!

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