Chastanet maintains CIP not transparent enough

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Chastanet maintains CIP not transparent enough
UWP Leader Allen Chastanet
UWP Leader Allen Chastanet
UWP Leader Allen Chastanet

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.

(55)(0)

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24 COMMENTS

  1. i have only one question answer me this anyone if in less than a year Chastnet Is confident on being prime minister why dont wait until then to review it and modify it

    (0)(4)

  2. Sure thing. I would be damned if I were to trust anything coming from this government. I do not trust SLP with anything.

    It is so great not to have to try to pick out anything truthful from any SLP inside or outside of government. Those greying grown-uo children have no bolz. With their clanging powder puffs, they do not stand up to anything that is going wrong in this country, as long as it is their party doing it. I am happy that my thinking is clear. There is no need for this disgusting red SLP Kool Aid, called better days.

    (28)(0)

  3. The prime liar....uh sorry! I meant prime minister said how foreign direct investment had dried up but neglected to mention that it is because of him. HE had promised to write foreign investors and tell them don't invest in St. Lucia. Why cry crocodile tears over what HE CAUSED? Further I believe there are deliberately no legislative controls on CIP revenue because this bunch of crooks intend to enrich themselves on the program. And of course he comes with his nauseating sanctimoniousness spewing verbal garbage all over the place, his face a repulsive mask of total insincerity. But like the mother pig said to the little pig: tanto tanto.
    Nuff said

    (68)(0)

  4. I agree. There is no transparency. The chairman hand selected some of the board members as well as the person heading the office having worked with them in other organisations. Two Board members are related. Pure boogery

    (50)(0)

  5. WHAT We need in St.Lucia are programs to encourage local investors. Foreign investors invest for one basic reason ----- for profit. When they acquire enough they pack up and leave. This whole idea should be scrapped.

    (38)(0)

    • It is all about renegade and outlaw riff-raff with money trying to get passports to escape justice in their homelands. We have no economic structure to encourage investment in anything but hotel building. Myopic Polly Anna sees the proliferation of hotel construction as development. We have to import even water it would seem to get these hotels constructed nowadays.

      (2)(0)

  6. How comes it that everyone EXCEPT THE PM KNOWS that the first CIP excursion is causing us greate international embarrassment before it even really got off the ground? Due diligence?

    (35)(0)

  7. “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," Chastanet asserted.

    What does this man have against elected members of parliament? Is it because he is not elected himself and hence the reason for his rant? The cabinet has every right to appoint and to dismiss the board of directors of this and any public organization. They are elected by the people and should serve the interest of the people. De Chastanet is extremely cocky and arrogant for saying that they should not. In a democracy the people elect representatives to represent them in parliament. It is also the duty of the government in power to look after the interests of the country they are governing.

    I see nothing wrong in the government appointing people to serve on the board of the CIP. At least they will be answerable to the government and people of St Lucia. De Chastanet is angry because he is unelected and has no say in the matter. What would he have done differently to what the prime minister has done? If his opposition to the CIP is anything to go by then he would most likely have inserted his well-heeled friends on the board if he was in charge. He resents the government for having the temerity to take control of the scheme. De Chastanet is an esurient capitalist and broker. In this man's mind and psyche the government should have very little control of what goes on with an important venture like this. He believes in privitization - from government control to private enterprise. This is how this man thinks and that is why he should never be elected to our parliament. He is mainly concerned about the vested interest of the few and not the majority.St Lucia needs people who can look after its interests.

    The citizen investment programme is designed to attract foreign capital and business people by providing the right of residence and citizenship in return. It is a good way to create jobs and to keep the economy afloat and vibrant. Most Western countries have immigrant investor programs in place which helps create jobs for the citizens of these countries. Britain the US Canada and Germany have similar schemes which allows the foreign investor to take advantage of the business opportunities that exists in these developed states and their low tax regimes. St lucia should be no exception when it comes to bringing in people who can help set up industries and services which will provide gainful employment to the people. We need that. Every country needs investment.

    St Lucia's citizenship is desirable as a Lucian passport can be used to travel visa-free to over 100 countries. We need to guard against letting to many undesirables in. The board need to scrutinize everyone. Lots of questions need to be asked and a proper vetting procedure should be put in place to prevent unsavoury and unpleasant characters from laying their hands on a St Lucian passport through CIP. There have been stories in the press about foreigners with other Caribbean islands passports committing crimes in countries like canada and the US. St Lucia can do without that type of negative publicity. We do not want another Dr. Batch happening again. I remember this sordid affair as if it were like yesterday. St Lucian passports were being sold to people from all over the place. These travel documents were British colonial passports since St Lucia was a British colony back then. The then interim government promised to look into this back in 1982 but nothing became of it. We do not want a repeat and so the authorities will have to tread carefully.

    The West will be watching and will be taking note. Should anything go wrong they will come down on St Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean where the CIP is in place like a ton of bricks. They will not hesitate to apply all manner of sanctions on our small states and there is nothing we can do about it. They like to bully small states into submission and so we should not give them any reason to do so. This CIP have to be above board and beyond suspicion. There are lots of dubious Russians and other Europeans carrying out investments in the UK and there is very little the authorities can do about these dodgy people. Yet they can lecture countries like St Lucia about how to conduct their financial affairs.They will gladly welcome these people with questionable records because they have lots of money in their banking system yet if St Lucia were to even Think about doing so then all hell will break loose. What is good for them is never good for you even if it's the same goodies.The hypocrisy of the UK and the US are legendary.

    Before De Chastanet can make such pronouncements he need to look closer to home and his own cause.His family owns hotels on the island and if anything a lot of these investors may end up staying in his hotels bringing in money and job opportunities to his many employees. He is only taking a stand against the CIP because he is not the one in charged of it. His government is not in power and is unlikely to be and so he is throwing his toys out of his pram like a toddler.
    De Chastanet has an insatiable appetite for wealth and power. He pushed the official leader of the opposition aside so he can run the show. Gale Rigobert should not have allowed this to happen. I find De Chastanet's takeover from elected Rigobert offensive. Gale should never have to give way to a man whom the people of Soufriere rejected at the polls. He sould be made to earn his way into parliament first before he can become leader.Gale I will repeat has demonstrated poor leadership. She should have resigned as leader of the opposition and allowed someone else to take the helm. By allowing De Chastanet to brush her aside like this shows her level of incompetence. This would not happen in any other democracy. This man was able to openly challenge and to thrown down the gauntlet to party colleagues because of who he is in St Lucian society. He does not give a Rat island's nest about no one but himself. Look at the manner in which he has treated stalwarts like Stephenson King who have been loyal to the party from his youth.He got rid of Richard Frederick who gave so much to the party. De Chastanet is ruling the UWP with an iron fist,not even sir John Compton was as brutal as this.Such a baleful figure.

    The prime minister of St Lucia is on the right track when it comes to the CIP. I trust that the program will bring in much needed jobs and opportunities for the people of St Lucia. This needs to be well planned and executed. St Lucia cannot do with any more bad publicity since the Juffali affair. WE must not allow Countries like the UK Canada and the US to set the standards for us when they themselves do not keep up to their own standards. Let's hope the investors can come for the right reasons - to invest.
    As for De Chastanet he has no right to say anything about something which will bring in the bread and butter to the average St Lucian. Before he opens his mouth he should first strive to become elected. If He does(hope he is not) then he can have his say in parliament. The St Lucian cabinet is elected by the people and can carry out the wishes of the people. De Chastanet is unelected and should have very little say in what goes on. Let the government and opposition step up to the plate not an unelected rapacious capitalist.

    Big Up St Lucia!
    Malcolm L'Overture

    (15)(39)

      • Haiti has a CIP in place already. The fact of the matter is that Haiti isn't safe right now. The elections had to be postponed due to violence and interference from outside forces. Once the situation is restored back to normality then the ball will start rolling again. We need to get these rich Americans and Europeans to stop promising to do things for Haiti and not doing the things that they promised. We need the UN soldiers to get out of Haiti because they are part of the problem and not the solution.

        The Nepalese soldiers are spreading cholera and other diseases in our splendid isle. They have no respect for Haiti and the Haitian people and we need them out immediately with the rest of the gang. Haiti is an independent country and can run it's own affairs without outside interference.

        Malcolm L'overture
        Haitian - Lucian
        Brussels Belgium

        (0)(2)

  8. Transparency never started from day one. I would like to know who drafted the CIP Act and regulations because this process can oftern take years for it to happen and the government officers are always involved. This piece of legislation appeared overnight and followed at a rapid pace with regulations. wow unheard of. Why wasn't the CEO post advertised and how the hell did she get that job? Which Ministry does this CIP fall under and who is the responsible minister and permanent secretary? Who is accounting for these funds and how they are spent?

    (45)(60)

  9. Kenny and Tony do not know what transparency and accountability is or what these words mean. Could u imagine if it was the UWP that had gone down the disastrous route of the juffalli affair? he would have been quoting law left right and center. saying that they cannot govern and that they have to step down. it would have been asked about in parliament. he would claim st lucia's reputation in the international community was at stake and being destroyed. Yet now that he and his cronies did all that and more; its all about aiding abetting and defending the indefensible. Hope we all see the light and it aint coloured red cause that itself is for danger ahead and STOP.

    (9)(0)

  10. Chastanet is absolutely right. IF and that is IF Kenny really wants accountability and transparency then agree with Chastanet for goodness sake. Wha wrong with that. However if shadyness is to be facilitated THEN he will fight Chastanet's suggestions. But we are seeing the scandals unfolding as the bubbles burst and particulalry in the OECS islands. In fact Juffali is engulfed in so much controversy, speculation and shadyness it is likely already our first CIP scandal.

    In the above article mention was not even made about yet anothe scandal just emerging and involving again the Dominica CIP programme where two shady skiers obatined Dominican cirizenship and actually faked their way into an international competition as Domionica 's skiing team. Another embarrassment for Dominica

    (28)(1)

  11. To this very day, the "Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure" debates are not used properly in both Houses of Parliament, and by both major parties! To the credit of the new LPM pressure group, they raised that issue and got some traction regarding its use. Nobody has said anything about proper use.

    To date, no member of our parliament can be associated with tracing the revenue flows, AND the expenditure flows OVER a sequential period of years, to ANALYZE, the revenue yield of any tax measure, or the VALUE FOR MONEY for any government expenditure or outlays on any government action or project.

    In other words, culturally, Saint Lucians are not results oriented except perhaps for the outcomes regarding the fortunes of the parties that they support. Nobody said anything here about the prospects or outcomes for the ENTIRE country. National welfare is thus narrowly defined and viewed strictly along party lines. Quite sadly, our RECURRING NATIONAL failures have not been attributed to this SOCIALLY irresponsible and dysfunctional behaviour.

    It must be emphasized too, that those Estimate debates should be based on the time series data that should be always available to every member of the public in a printed form. That publication should give a) the recurring expenditures and revenues and under different heads, and b) the real expenditure and revenue intake for each department of government for at least FIVE YEARS.

    Our graduates from the T-A.B.C. training college produces rote learners and not those who can think critically. From their deeds or fruits you shall know them. That is why our political system is overloaded from top to bottom with so many ill-suited yes-men.

    (50)(2)

  12. Is he trying to tell me the accountability and transparency he is clamoring for in the CIP will prevent an Antigua or Dominica from happening?

    I don't think so! Your problem with the project is not so much what you mentioned but the fact you, your party and its hacks are left out.

    The reason being your hands are allegedly not safe and of course sabotage is kept to a minimal.

    (4)(16)

    • What dumb analysis conjured up out of thin air. What he is saying is that the shadiness that currently exists with out own CIP is almost certain to guarantee an Antigua or Dominica situation. You can't 100% prevent anything but the likelihood is greatly increased when you have people who are already themselves highly questionable and suspect.

      (7)(0)

  13. Why those concerns were not raised before by his opposition leader in parliaments? It was supported by them.So what is the problem now??

    (4)(12)

  14. My question is how we dealing with someone with a Dominican passport and apply for a st Lucian passport. Kenny explain how u dealing with such situation

    (0)(4)

  15. So far we have seen examples of how this programme has negatively impacted the islands which have implemented it! Yet we are not heeding the warning signs!!! People as rich as the people we are trying to attract can afford to pay for anything including a new identity, a past to be erased and a perfect due diligence report.

    (34)(0)

  16. I have a question. Not sure whether this was raised by the PM.
    But is there anything in place to avoid persons who were rejected by one of the islands from applying in another island offering CIP?????
    Will those respective governments be working together?????

    I have noticed too in the other islands that the opposition party once elected into office, maintained the CIP but tweaked or tried to make the process more robust. All these actions were taken as a result of the negative implications derived under their previous administrations.

    If what Chastanet is asserting is true especially with respect to the absence of legislation in relation to how monies would be collected and where it is going I am expecting the government to provide information.

    This CIP thing, the opposition here won't have the guts to scrap that if they come into office. Only when the big boys speak will any of the parties listen. Look at Grenada.

    (18)(5)

  17. I agree with Allen on this one, we need a third party to look after this sensitive issue. I say we contract the vetting process to Scotland Yard. It's about credibility, and politicians have none!

    (38)(8)

    • Third party my rass, you guys just want to talk sh&t. Please do some research, about two weeks ago a released was issued where two third parties were appointed to do diligence on their behalf. Chas is not to be trusted on this issue, Taiwanese funds is his yard stick.

      (2)(34)

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