WHY WAS ANTIGUA'S TOURISM MINISTER ARRESTED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM ?

WHY WAS ANTIGUA'S TOURISM MINISTER ARRESTED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM ?

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Asot Michael, who was removed as Antigua's Minister of Tourism & Investment, after British authorities reportedly arrested him upon arrival in the UK, and subsequently released, has failed to disclose precisely why the Metropolitan Police needed to interview him. His slick public relations-authored press release hinted at his innocence, and even made it seem to be a mistake.

Rest assured, it was anything but routine. British law enforcement does not arrest foreign governmental cabinet officials without just cause. Was it because Minister Michael oversees Antigua's controversial (and often troubled) Citizenship by Investment (economic passport) Program, and there is an ongoing criminal investigation into one or more of the CBI holders ? Or was it because of an investigation into the illegal payment of funds to Antiguan officials, to approve certain investment projects by foreign nationals ? We cannot say at this time. 

Most people might immediately question whether UK Customs seized any personal property in the minister's baggage, such as bearer instruments of value, or bulk cash. We cannot form an opinion on this subject, because there has been no information made public, regarding his possessions at arrival.

The most troubling aspect of the minister's very public statement inferred that he had been advised, by some anonymous source, that the police were required to arrest him to interview him. Most international travelers know that, in the event of a query of any sort, airport-based law enforcement staff detain the party, they do not arrest him. The arrest of the minister was no mere friendly talk, it was a predicate to a custodial interrogation, and we surely want to know why.  
 
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Senior Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant