Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

BEWARE THE CENSORED AND CONTROLLED MEDIA IN THE CARIBBEAN



Compliance officers in North America and the EU seeking information on individuals or entities located in the Caribbean should be extremely careful when accessing Caribbean media for Customer Identification purposes, as much of its self-censored, intentionally misleading, or sponsored by private entities whose marketing goals result in skewed reporting, most of which cannot be relied upon.

First of all, remember that local Caribbean media, fearful of losing invaluable government official advertising revenue, will ignore controversial subjects, especially where they involve corruption, illegal conduct of the ruling and business classes, and especially negative news regarding the local Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) program. Do not expect to obtain truthful data regarding Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) or present or former senior government officials. The media will not lose the revenue, coming from Government, that keeps them open, for an investigative article. As a result, they practice self-censorship.

Second, The international CBI consultancies whose profits depend upon new CBI passport sales, ensure that business will continue by sponsoring a huge number of favorable articles, the majority of which generally paint a rosy, but deceptive, picture of the five East Caribean states, conveniently omitting any negative topics.

Finally, remember that many of these countries are ruled by corrupt leaders who bribe voters and otherwise fix elections, solely to stay in power, so that they may continue to receive bribes and kickbacks. Their money laundering activities are NOT reported by local media; to the contrary, they are lionized in media, in what we might call a Cult of Personality.

Therefore, compliance officers simply cannot trust even the most elementary facts appearing in Caribbean media, with rare exceptions. Make your own independent inquiries, using your own sources, or develop some.

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