Xiao Juanhua, a prominent Chinese banker/businessman accused of bribery and market manipulation, obtained an Antigua diplomat passport, calling into question whether a due diligence background investigation was ever conducted upon him. He was a known fugitive, wanted by China for four years, when he received the passport. Xiao was designated an ambassador at large, though no specific mission, location, or dutes were ever assigned to him. That makes his passport in violation of the provisions of the relevant UN treaty, the Vienna Convention, and therefore void ab initiio.
GASTON BROWNE - PRIME MINISTER OF ANTIGUA ISSUES PASSPORTS TO KNOWN CRIMINALS
Xiao was reportedly given two hundred CBI passports, allegedly to sell from his base in Hong Kong. He was later kidnapped by unknown agents, and is believed to have died in the Peoples' Republic under mysterious circumstances that lend themselves to the conclusion that he was the victim of an extrajudicial execution by the Chinese Government, which is clamping down hard on corruption. His body was never found.
This case confirms that there is, in essence, insufficient due diligence initiated on CBI or diplomatic passport applicants, which poses a serious threat to any bank, or customs official, that accepts these passports as identification for any purpose, The holder could be a career criminal, terrorist financier, sanctions violator, or even OFAC-designated individual. The abuse of CBI passports remain a major international problem.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant