Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, January 7, 2017

CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES THAT SELL ECONOMIC PASSPORTS REFUSE TO DISCLOSE NAMES OF BOGUS DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDERS



Notwithstanding powerful statements, from Opposition leaders, the governments of Caribbean nations that have given diplomatic passports to foreign nationals, who are not performing any official duties whatsoever, but abusing their "diplomatic" status, have failed to name the individuals who hold those passports. It is known that some of these diplomatic passports are being used to facilitate financial crime, and also by individuals who have indictments pending against them at home, to evade arrest and prosecution.

The countries specifically named as having sold diplomatic passports to dodgy individuals include, but are not limited to, St Kitts, Antigua & Barbuda, and Dominica. Governmental officials in those countries have tried to shift the blame, from agencies which authorize, investigate and issue such passports, to unnamed senior officers in government, who allegedly sold such documents without official approval, and "under the table," but these statements do not appear to be supported by fact.

The result of the negative publicity generated by this scandal appears to be that there has been increased scrutiny of all passports, when the holder is from any one of the Caribbean republics known to have issued diplomatic passports to foreign nationals. Compliance officers are advised that it is prudent to increase Country Risk on the nations listed above, as the corruption demonstrated by the illegal issuance of bogus diplomatic passports raises the presumption that other illicit activities, on the part of senior government officials, exists, which could result in losses to foreign investors, expats, and in international banking transactions.

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