Those West Indian politicians who earlier this year cast doubt upon whether the US, Canada & the EU would ever impose restrictions upon them, as the direct and proximate result of their failure to conduct effective due diligence upon their CBI applicants, are starting to eat their words. The issue is how many painful and restrictive policies must be visited upon them before their constituents remove them from office.
First, citizens from East Caribbean states learned that certain of their kind, arriving in the United States, had been subject to extensive questioning, the obvious object of which was to learn whether the visitor was holding a CBI passport. If this was the conclusion, a more extensive interview was the next step, together with an intense inspection of his bags and baggage.
Second, the Government of Canada, after having earlier restricted visa-free visitors from some jurisdictions in the region, imposes a blanket biometric information requirement upon most East Caribbean states. Both the Canadian Prime Minister as well as the Foreign Minister have pointed to the deficiencies in the various CBI programs as the central reason, though various spin masters have attempted to conceal that fact, including some linked to the CBI consultancies that touted a visa-free Canada.
Now, while the citizens of the East Caribbean remain upset that their plans to visit Canada will be curtailed, or even cancelled, due to the time, expense and trouble of a personal visit to the Canadian High Commissioner in Trinidad, the third shoe is about to drop. Agencies of the European Union, after extensive consultations, which this blog has repeatedly warned were underway, appear now to be on the verge of their own version of sanctions, also due to the CBI due diligence scandal.
The question is; if there are visa restrictions imposed by EU agencies, and the result interferes with CBI passport holders' access to Europe, those CBI passports will lose much of their value, as applicants will choose Malta, Cyprus, or one of the other CBI jurisdictions. If that happens, the very same East Caribbean leaders who rely upon CBI funds to pay recurring expenses may find themselves out in the cold.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant