In a bizarre turn of events, the Citizenship by Investment consultancy whose former manager was charged, by a victim, with demanding a million dollar fee to obtain a diplomatic passport in 2016, has told the Government of Antigua to choose between it, and its primary competitor, accusing Antigua of unspecified misconduct due to its relationship with the competitor, who it is blaming as the sponsor of the articles exposing the diplomatic passport scandal. There is no factual basis for the Henley allegation, and it appears to be a ploy to distract attention from the seriousness of diplomatic passport scandal.
Henley and Partners, whose former Caribbean manager was named by a European businessman with accepting $1,000,000 for a diplomatic passport, and then failing to deliver it, has alleged that the story, as reported on this blog, was "fake news," commissioned by Arton Capital, Henley's main competitor in the global CIP industry, and falsely reported on this blog. Henley sent a communication to the Government of Antigua, essentially demanding that it choose, ordering it to dismiss Arton as a licensee of CIP services, and that if its does not, to itself unilaterally withdraw from the Antigua CIP market, claiming that Antigua endorses or allows Arton's unspecified, alleged fraud.
This action, on the part of Henley and Partners, can only be interpreted as an attempt to gain a commercial advantage against its primary competition, based upon a material misstatement of fact. This blogger has not had any consulting relationship with Arton, the alleged sponsor of the articles Henley objects to, since 2011, and has had absolutely no contact with the firm since then. I have not received any compensation from Arton, or anyone else, directly or indirectly, to write the article. To claim some sort of conspiracy, due to alleged "forensic triangularization" is pure lunacy.
Furthermore, Antigua had absolutely nothing to do with the diplomatic passport allegations; its government advised, last year, that it had no file on the victim who Christopher Willis, the Henley Caribbean manager, claimed, together with Grenada, had connections which enabled him to obtain a diplomatic passport for the victim.
After accepting the million, Willis failed to deliver the passport, and the victim was forced to plead with a cabinet level official in Grenada, to obtain a refund. It is noteworthy that the minster from Grenada did not deny that it had a role in the diplomatic passport, when contacted, but referred the matter to the country's CIP agency. The refund was transmitted within a couple of days of the victim's complaint to Grenada. Henley denies that the entire matter even occurred.
Grenada denies any role in the diplomatic passport transaction; over the years, there have been a number of cases involving criminals who purchased, under circumstances that implicated the country's Prime Minister, diplomatic passports, giving rise to a number of national scandals. A cable, from the United States State Department, published by Wikileaks, named several of the most egregious diplomatic passport cases.
Who is telling the truth ? The emails, from 2016, including to and from two governments, confirm that the victim is telling the truth. Why is Henley pushing this "alternative" version of the facts ? We cannot say, but since new research has already uncovered other recent Grenada diplomatic passport cases, the story will continue; stay tuned.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant