St. Kitts-Nevis hires firm to improve transparency of Citizenship by Investment Program

Press release

SKN Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris

PRESS RELEASE – root9B Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: RTNB) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, IPSA International (IPSA), has been retained by the St. Kitts and Nevis Government to address recommendations that will improve the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program.

IPSA, a regulatory risk mitigation firm delivering advisory and investigative services, will assist the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit to increase the program’s transparency and efficiency.

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris has committed to ensuring the continued prestige of the Citizenship by Investment Program, which began in 1984 and is the most established program of its kind in the world. The program attracts investors of good character to make a substantial economic contribution to the development of the Federation in return for the opportunity to apply for citizenship.

“We appreciate the opportunity to assist St. Kitts and Nevis in their objective to ensure integrity exists in all aspects of their Citizenship by Investment Program,” said IPSA’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Wachtler. “The Immigrant Investor industry is seeing tremendous growth and change, and with that can come increased risk. St. Kitts and Nevis is poised to help themselves and the industry as a whole by implementing best practices in their program.”

IPSA International completed a program review of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program in the fourth quarter of 2014. Prime Minister Harris outlined that, with higher volumes, changing regulations and increased focus on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Funding, the review was commissioned to make recommendations for enhancements to protect the integrity and security of the program. IPSA made 20 recommendations for improved governance, risk mitigation and compliance, all of which were accepted.

These included the roll-out of a case management tool to streamline the application management process within the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU); changes to the CIU’s organizational structure to enhance processing capabilities and mitigate risk; an improved risk assessment process; and a review of previously approved applicants. Prime Minister Harris stated that IPSA has now been engaged to assist the CIU and the Government in carrying out these recommendations, including the immediate implementation of the case management tool.

“I can say today, that this government has reviewed the report and after consultations with a wide cross section of persons representing developers, agents, service providers, lawyers, ordinary citizens and workers, we have decided that it is in the best interest of our country that we implement the 20 recommendations proposed by IPSA International,” said Prime Minister Harris. “These will form the basis to restructure, reform, and reposition the CBI Program and unit in particular to restore it to its former glory. Not just to become known as a program which is the oldest, but a program which is the best and which will become a leader in best practices in (similar) programs.”

Since 2004, IPSA International has been providing investigative due diligence and consulting services for citizenship by investment programs, and in the Caribbean region since 2012. IPSA is a recognized industry pioneer and currently a preferred vendor for three citizenship by investment programs in the Caribbean. IPSA has consulted with governments in relation to these programs, including operational policies and procedures, workflow analysis, operational support, system recommendations, and implementation.

“IPSA has been involved with Immigrant Investor programs for over 10 years and we are pleased to be able to assist St. Kitts and Nevis in implementing these changes to meet the highest international standards,” IPSA’s Executive Vice President, International Operations, Kim Marsh said. “This will ensure continued confidence in the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program.”.

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