As the European Union's Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, has so aptly warned, there are significant concerns that Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs could be abused by terrorist organizations. If there is a single successful terrorist act, involving a CBI passport issued by one of the Five East Caribbean states, which uniformly have ineffective due diligence of applicants, it will spell the end of international acceptance of those passports, especially if there is a loss of innocent life or damage to a national economy.
The EC country where the terrorist obtained his CBI passport could immediately be subject to sanctions, as well as negative publicity that would impact tourism and trade, which one analyst described as akin to pariah status by EU and North American governments. This might make international trade extremely difficult, compounded by the fact that the economies of the East Caribbean nations are dependent upon imports.
Unless the East Caribbean states with CBI/CIP programs wish to be treated like the West did for years with the apartheid regime in South Africa, the due diligence investigations conducted upon all CBI applicants:
(1) Must immediately be upgraded to enhanced due diligence (EDD), to include confirmation of identity, using social media and social networking resources, accessed through facial recognition software systems (FRS).
(2) A historical look back of existing CBI passport holders, to include, but not be limited to, EDD and FRS checks of social media resources, to either, confirm the identity of the passport holder, or the public cancellation of his passport.
If the Five East Caribbean CBI States do not choose to upgrade their due diligence, as we have detailed above, then they should not be surprised when a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) organization obtains their passports and uses them to commit a deadly terrorist act. The consequences could be fatal for the local economy of the offending country, and if the United States is the victim, look for a full-court direct response forthwith.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed By Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant