Progressive elements in the Federation of St. Christopher & Nevis have taken the first steps towards moving St. Kitts into a positive direction, in order to eliminate some old and unwanted issues that still interfere with the country's forward movement, due to fundamental problems in the Citizenship by Investment (CIU) program.
Kittitians are still smarting over the 2014 FinCEN Advisory, targeting their nation, due to the CIU [CBI] and diplomatic passport money laundering & financial crime threats that the US Treasury stated they pose to the American financial indistry, as well as Canada's impostion of visa requirements, after an Iranian national, with a SKN diplomatic passport, sought to enter the country. Neither of these two major restrictions have been lifted, notwithstanding repeated direct diplomatic appeals to the United States and Canada.
Reformers within St Kitts, seeing that the old government approach has failed, now are openly interested in not only elevating future vetting of all CBI applicants, to the level of Enhanced Due Diligence, in order to remove those restrictions, but they believe that conducting historical look-backs upon all holders of CBI and diplomatic passports must be conducted, in order to remove the joint stigma of the FinCEN Advisory, and Canadian visa requiements.
Readers who have been told, by present CBI management, that the vetting process is effective and adequate need only look at the misadventures of a number of the foreign passport holders, including some who are literally hiding out in St Kitts, to avoid criminal prosecution elsewhere. We have previously detailed some of those unsavory characters in this blog, but Kittitians know of many others; they have just chosen to ignore that painful fact, until now.
The St Kitts fallout from Antigua's horrific Asot Michael scandal has motivated some to seek reform as a means of repairing the country's poor international image among North American bankers, who still remember that OFAC-sanctioned criminals at one time operated in St Kitts with impunity, under previous governments. It is now high time to upgrade the CBI program, and to reexamine all its passport holders with a critical eye, so that American compliance officers remove the country from their personal high-risk category, and Canada will open its friendly doors once again.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant