Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, October 12, 2017

JUST HOW MANY KITTITIANS GOT FOREIGN PASSPORTS AFTER THE FINCEN ADVISORY ?


If you are following events in the East Caribbean, you know that not only did the US Ambassador for the region visit St Kitts & Nevis recently, she stated that, while it is under study, there are no current plans to remove the 2014 FinCEN Advisory, which referred to the misuse of Kittitian CBI passports, and warned international bankers to beware money laundering, other financial crimes, and terrorist financing, by St Kitts CBI passport owners. Native Kittitians, especially those who have political or economic power locally, have taken note of their increased risk levels, and some have chosen to game the international document system, in a dangerous way.

The recent dust-up in St Kitts, when local media proved that the country's former Prime Minister* obtained a diplomatic passport in the Commonwealth of Dominica, which actually falsely recited therein that he was a Dominican national, may only be the tip of the iceberg. Those holding St Kitts passports might have problems in making large deposits in North American or European financial institutions, so you should anticipate that Kittitian politicians, also including those presently in office, have acquired Diplomatic passports from Dominica, where, frankly, anything goes, if we take the example of the known foreign career criminals found to be in possession of them when arrested elsewhere.

Compliance officers at international banks should remember that St Kitts was forced, due to global public pressure to restore the "Place of Birth" information to their passports. Should you EVER find that the holder of any kind of St Kitts ( or Dominica or Antigua or Grenada or St Lucia) passport, initiate enhanced due diligence immediately, prior to account opening. You must immediately  demand, and obtain, Drivers' License, voter registration card, even birth certificate, evidence, to rule out the holder as unsuitable.
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* Spin masters in St Kitts have tried to explain away this scandal by stating that a government officials in the former PM's cabinet had their diplomatic passports cancelled when they fell from power, but private politicians in the East Caribbean have a long and sordid history of holding such diplomatic documents, even when not in government. They also failed to explain why the ex-PM misrepresented his nationality. Truth seems to be in short supply in St Kitts political circles.

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