Police Commissioner, Severin Moncherry, has denied that the transfer of a senior police officer was linked to concerns related to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
There have been reports that the head of the immigration department, Sean Alexander, was moved to one of the out stations allegedly because of not moving expeditiously enough on the granting of travel documents under the CIP.
One source told St Lucia Times that Alexander would not ‘rubber stamp’ the process and in some instances refused to give clearance for passports to be issued due to alleged discrepancies.
According to the source, the head of Special Branch, Burton Deterville, had also been transferred for reasons connected to the CIP process.
But Police Commissioner, Severin Moncherry, contacted by St Lucia Times for comment on the reports, said he was not aware of Deterville being transferred.
“Mr. Deterville proceeded on leave as far as I know and he is due to return sometime I think, in October,” Moncherry disclosed.
He said a determination will be made regarding what happens thereafter when Deterville returns.
In respect of Sean Alexander, the Police Chief explained that as part of the force’s succession plan and the plans for Alexander in the future, he was sent to gain an out station experience.
He noted that Alexander spent most of his time in the drug squad, CID and immigration.
“I needed him to get some out station experience, so he was transferred for that reason. I had a discussion with Mr. Alexander before he was transferred. It has nothing to do, as far as I know, with CIP or any such thing.”
Moncherry said he has never had any problems with Alexander at the immigration department.
“As far as I am concerned, he did a very good job while he was there – he was very effective. I have never had any complaints. I have never had any problems with him. As a matter of fact, I was the one who effected that transfer. I had a discussion with Mr. Alexander. We spoke. It had nothing to do with CIP or any such thing,” Moncherry told St Lucia Times.
The Police Chief asserted that transfers are fully within the purview of the Police Commissioner and have nothing to do with any outside source or agency.
Just this week the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party reiterated concern over the due diligence process within the CIP.
SLP spokesman on investment and Castries South MP, Doctor Ernest Hilaire, has said that there are reasons to be concerned about the management of the process.
“We have noticed the ranking and the rating Saint Lucia has gotten from agencies in relation to our due diligence and we have said to the government that the changes they were making would undermine the programme ,” he explained.