Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Monday, March 26, 2018

THE CARIBBEAN'S FLAWED UNDERSTANDING OF DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS



A well-known Calypso singer was recently given a diplomatic passport in Trinidad & Tobago, purely for matters of personal travel convenience, if you take the government's public announcement literally.

This is a direct quote from the T & T Minister of Culture Gadsby-Dolly:

"It will not only make her travels easier from a practical perspective, it would also mean 
 fewer visa restrictions, exemption from taxes on income earned in foreign countries and 
easier passage through customs and exemption from bag searches." 

I understand that Dr. Gadsby-Dolly is a chemist, and not a lawyer, but these are all the reasons criminals and terrorist financiers buy diplomatic passports in the first place, and the countries of the Caribbean are happy to oblige them. Don't give them away like candy, please.

Remember, true diplomats:
(1) Are accredited to a specific country, agency or jurisdiction.
(2) have actual jobs and tasks to perform in that jurisdiction.
(3) present their credentials to the jurisdiction, and are accepted as such by the receiving state.
(4) Have a diplomatic office to work out of, where they perform services for constituents.
(5) Are usually native to the country that is issuing their diplomatic passport.
(6) Are only granted diplomatic immunity in their assigned jurisdiction, and while in transit to and from that country or assignment.

Every time a diplomatic passport is issued that does not satisfy the above United Nations treaty requirements, the possibility of its use for crime should be considered.

 








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