If you were following last year's travails of the now former Tourism & Investments Minister, Asot Michael, detained upon arrival in the United Kingdom, and interrogated about the suspected payment of a very large bribe paid by a UK national, you may know that he was cashiered by the Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne. You may have missed where PM Browne gave the order to sack Michael; it was from the Kingdom of Jordan. Why is this both significant as well as troubling ?
Browne, who had come from a CBI investment conference in Montenegro, was not in Jordan primarily to meet the King, though that was on his offficial itinerary. He was in Jordan to conduct a meeting with a number of affluent Palestinian nationals, to detail Antigua's Citizenship by Investment or CBI, program.
This meeting was neither public, nor listed on his schedule, because if it became public knowledge that Browne was offering CBI visa-free travel privileges to the countries of the European Union, to Arab Palestinians who are members of, and agents for, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), globally sanctioned terrorist organizations, Antiguans might think twice about retaining him in office.
Specially designated global terrorist groups are generally the only Palestinians with six figures, in cash, to throw around, and that valuable Antiguan passport would open doors all over not only Europe, but the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations as well. The mere fact that Browne chose to hold covert meetings, in a high-risk part of the world, with even higher risk individuals, speaks volumes about his utter disregard for normal risk management policies and procedures.
Palestinians have begun seeking to acquire CBI passports, from the East Caribbean republics that offer them, and have even sent delegations to other countries in the region. There is no amount of enhanced due diligence that can make up for soliciting known terrorist operators, to obtain a quick dollar, but in the process leaving the Western democracies exposed to penetration by a sworn enemy. Go somewhere else to flog your CBI passports, please, Mr. Browne, lest you give one to someone carrying a dirty bomb into Central London.
* COMMENTARY NOTE: Gaston Browne always has an excuse either "he sees nothing; hears nothing or speaks nothing", but it is always the fault of Monte Friesner - International Criminal, as the scapegoat in his mind. Browne likes to consider himself a Legend in his own Mind who has raped, plundered and pillaged Antigua Barbuda assets with his nonending hunger and greed for power and money.
GASTON BROWNE'S EXCUSES IN LIFE
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijick - Financial Crime Consultant