The Federation of St Christopher & Nevis, more commonly known as St Kitts, has announced, through the CEO of its Citizenship by Investment Unit, that it will be adding a residency program to its existing immigration and investment options, to meet demands for such a program. Approved applicants, who would be required to spend at least a portion of the year in actual residence, would receive a residency card.
Compliance officers at North American financial institutions, who have observed multiple hiccups with the St Kitts' CBI program, will be alarmed to learn that individuals who are accepted into the program, and who become Residents, will be able to subsequently "convert" their status into a CBI citizenship, according to the public announcement. Will these conversions be handled with an adequate level of enhanced due diligence, or be quietly approved, more or less automatically, due to the additional income they will bring in to government offers ?
You can be sure that, upon reading the above information, money launderers and other financial criminals, not to mention wealthy PEPs who have stolen government funds, or accepted bribes & kickbacks, have made inquiries of their professional advisers, or will contact the CBI agents who are authorized to process such transactions. One wonders to what illicit use career criminals intend to employ this residency status.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant