The Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) in Saint Lucia has been touted by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony as one of the best models yet to be seen in the region, but others disagree.
Topping that list of persons not in favour of the current CIP is Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet who has said that there is no accountability and transparency in the programme.
Chastanet told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that the Prime Minister hasn’t recognized that the Cabinet should not have such a huge influence over the programme, citing that there is too much politics involved.
“It’s wrong for Cabinet to appoint all the board of directors. It’s wrong for them to fire the board of directors and it’s wrong that there is no legislation as to how the money is going to be spent and absolutely no accountability in terms of how much money is collected and where it is going,” he asserted.
He also spoke about Dominca’s CIP, where it is noted that Canada imposed visa requirements on Dominica citizens a decade ago after complaining that suspected criminals had used the island’s passports.
Chastanet also gave other examples where countries have introduced CIPs and it caused major problems, especially in St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN) which was singled out by the U.S. Treasury for facilitating financial crime.
And most recently, Antigua and Barbuda’s due diligence for its CIP which is modeled on that of St. Kitts & Nevis was brought into question, as news of a Chinese woman and her daughter was arrested.
The Chinese government had issued a wanted report through an interpol for the woman who has an Antigua and Barbuda CIP passport. The woman was allegedly wanted for leaking confidential government information.
Further, Grenada’s CIP which was closed in 2002 was linked to allegations of government corruption. That country was placed on an international blacklist for not fighting money laundering. This was later removed.