The Laundry Man by Kenneth Rijock ( Penguin/Random House UK)

Monday, February 12, 2018


 If you are a wealthy businessman, living in the Middle East, the Peoples' Republic of China, or Russia, and the international CBI consultancy firm you are working with tells you that you might also acquire a diplomatic passport from one of the East Caribbean jurisdictions, kindly pay close attention to this article. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing, at great expense, an identification document that not only fails to meet United Nations treaty requirements, it could mark you as a target, conferring a level of international law enforcement attention that you will definitely not appreciate.

To comply with the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to which all United Nations members are signatories:

(1) Diplomats, with rare exceptions, are to be nationals of the country in which they are diplomats.
(2) Diplomats must not be involved in either commercial or professional endeavors in the host country.
(3) Diplomats must be posted and assigned to a specific jurisdiction, have a specific work mission there, and be accredited to, and accepted by, the country to which they are posted.  
(4) Their diplomatic immunity only extends to the host country, and to other jurisdictions while actually in transit to and from their work assignments, but nowhere else.

Therefore, any notion of global immunity from criminal prosecution, as hyped by eager consultants who are neither attorneys admitted to practice in the jurisdiction, nor lawyers competent in the fields of diplomacy and international law, is flat out wrong. Unless you want to have an expensive book to decorate your den, obtaining a diplomatic passport, when you are not actually performing actual diplomatic duties, on behalf of a foreign power, is a real waste of your money.

Sure, perhaps you can impress an airport customs official, in a remote part of the world, and thereafter skip the line, but the moment you start believing the hype, and attempt to evade customs inspection, or arrest, elsewhere, after filling a diplomatic pouch with bearer financial instruments, you may experience a rude awakening, and a very embarrassing, or costly, incident. 

© 2018 Kenneth Rijock; contributed by Kenneth Rijock.˙

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