Antigua: CIU Executive and PM defend CIP

Antigua: CIU Executive and PM defend CIP

Antigua Observer:-Deputy Head of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), Thomas Anthony has strongly criticised, as unbalanced, a CBS ‘60 Minutes’ report on the sale of nationality in the region.

Thomas, who is the deputy chief executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, said while the report dubbed ‘Passports for Sale,’ which aired on Sunday night, highlighted the negatives of CIP, it failed to show the positives.

He said after watching the show, it became clear to him that “either the producers are bent on highlighting the negative aspects of Citizenship by Investment Programmes deliberately without providing the other view, or they are not sufficiently knowledgeable about the programmes”.

Thomas said there was not enough information provided about the quality of the due diligence that is done before an applicant’s passport is granted or the background checks carried out.

“We have a multi-tiered approach to due diligence, and there was very little time spent on the robustness of the background checks,” he added.

The programme’s host, Steve Kroft, said the programmes are legal ways to avoid visa controls that allow countries to screen people coming into their country, or allow people to change their identities.

“…It’s also an opportunity for shady characters to mask their true identities, and avoid suspicion as they travel around the globe,” he said.

The failings of St Kitts and Nevis’ CIP programme was featured heavily in the production, as well.

According to Kroft, the country had to recall over 5000 passports because of missing information or the applicant’s name had been changed.

The report also highlighted a number of incidents where people who had purchased St Kitts and Nevis passports ran afoul of the law, including three suspected Iranian operatives who were caught using their passports to launder money for banks in Tehran in violation of US sanctions.

During the near 15- minute presentation, the former legal adviser for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, Peter Vincent said, “They’re not transparent programmes. There are no safeguards in place.”

Vincent believes CIP presents a global security threat

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3 Comments

  1. Vaughn A R Blanchard
    January 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm Reply

    My view also. I checked the advertisement and dismissed it right away. Just another attempt to keep Island States subservient to the MDC’S. Like the attempts to destroy our Offshore Financial Services Sector.

  2. tc
    January 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm Reply

    Really Blanchard , I saw it as a wake up call to us. Soon we will not be getting any funding from these mdc thst have have stood time and time with us. It shows how our gov have failed us in the region and have resorted to a new form of begging and hand me outs.

  3. Calvin
    January 4, 2017 at 9:29 am Reply

    I understand that due diligence is taking place and the US authorities are checking out every applicant. It would be crazy to think that bad disingenuous people will not try and take advantage of any system. It’s encouraging that bad uns are being found out no ? The statistics do not put me off the programme.

    I am not involved with the programme in any way.

    I would ask that more TV shows show a more level playing field and the young people are simply turning off TV in favour of the general internet and blogs where ‘REAL’ content is more popular. I find it a fascinating subject more on the basis of normal sovereignty and the question of this being ‘sold’ being correct over and above the arguments given so far.

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