In a meeting, last month, the current Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis disclosed some critical historical information about official correspondence on file in his office, regarding the United States' conclusions about the previous SKN government's lack of effectiveness, in properly administering the due diligence portion of its CBI program.
The Prime Minister, Timothy Harris, stated that there were several letters from officials in the United States, critical of the deficiencies of the St Kitts CBI program. One specific letter, from then-Secretary of State John Kerry to then-Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, flat out told Douglas to cease and desist issuing any additional CBI passports, due to the manner in which the program was being operated.
Obviously, Douglas never complied with Secretary Kerry's request; subsequently, his US visa was revoked by Kerry, and it has never been reinstated, notwithstanding repeated requests.
A reform element in St Kitts is seeking to elevate its existing CBI program, which is still poorly regarded by the United States, which has never rescinded the 2014 FinCEN Advisory, through an upgrade to Enhanced Due Diligence investigation of all applicants. Employing EDD could also ease the relationship with Canada, which also imposed visa requirements on SKN nationals, reportedly based upon the flaws in the CBI program vetting procedure.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant