A Dutch businessman who was known to be a wealthy resident of Dominica, and who held a Dominica Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passport, has been returned to the Netherlands, where he is said to face major money laundering charges in Europe. He is the latest dodgy foreign national who obtained a CBI passport in Dominica to have been subsequently arrested on serious criminal charges abroad.
Ronald Pieter Nolen was taken into custody by Dutch law enforcement authorities in Sint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, and transferred to the Netherlands, where he reportedly has been accused of being a major money launderer. Nolen, who lived in Dominica, by virtue of his CBI passport, maintained an affluent lifestyle there for several years. He was known for throwing lavish parties in his home, attended by members of the ruling Labour Party, including the Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit.
These upscale celebrations are said, by those familiar with them, to be just like those hosted by another CBI passport holder, Alireza Monfared, the Iranian national now in custody in his native country, on charges he, together with partners that included Reza Zarrab and Babak Zanjani, stole billions of dollars in illegal oil sales profits. The circumstances of Monfared's arrest, by Iranian law enforcement agents in the Dominican Republic, are strangely similar to those of Nolen, who also was close to Dominica's most senior government officials, until he was removed from the country, after pressure from foreign law enforcement.
Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerrit & Alireza Monfared at dinner
Nolen reportedly imported into Dominica as least fifty automobiles, many of which were luxury Mercedes Benz vehicles, which he gave as gifts to a number of prominent Dominicans. Automobiles, especially high-value premium vehicles, are a well-known method of money launderers, who are seeking to clean dirty money; Hezbollah, for example, was engaged in a massive operation to purchase cars in North America and transport them abroad, for that purpose.
Nolen owned two Dominica shell companies, and used Dominica nationals as front men, to pose as the individuals in control; these companies were engaged in import operations, but whether they were a part of any money laundering scheme is not known. In fact, no details of Nolen's criminal case are not publicly available, and they appear to have been concealed by Dominica government officials, who fear public response to yet another arrest of a CBI passport holder.
One source stated that the name appearing upon Nolen's CBI passport is not his legal name,* but since Dominica is not transparent about public disclosure of the names of CBI passport holders, we are unable to confirm this information.
An individual with the same exact name is listed as being involved with corporations in Switzerland and we are investigating a number of leads, regarding details of Nolen's alleged money laundering activities, which will appear here when the research is completed. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of our Dominica sources in assisting with this article.
* Compliance officers have long known that neither East Caribbean CIP units, nor outside firms conducting due diligence, run applicant's photographs through facial recognition software programs, to confirm identities and legal names, and in truth and in fact, are complicit in allowing applicants to freely use aliases. There has never been a statement, by any of the five East Caribbean states with CBI programs, that they employ facial recognition programs, notwithstanding the high-risk nature of most of the applicants, to confirm their identities.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant