Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 22, 2014 (SKNIS): Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas has responded to an advisory issued by the United States Treasury Department claiming “Abuse of the Citizenship-by-Investment Program Sponsored by the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis”.
In his monthly press conference, the Prime Minister said the government was happy that attempts to undermine the citizenship programme are being highlighted and noted his commitment to making any necessary changes to ensure its integrity.
“…We are very pleased that these attempts by some economic citizens have been uncovered by the United States”, he explained. “We have long stressed our commitment to working with regional and international allies to halt the spread of international crime, and the matter of our Citizenship by Investment Program is no exception in this regard. We are in the process of determining at this moment exactly what changes, if any, should be made to the Programme, and we will be sure to advise you accordingly as these decisions are arrived at.”
Prime Minister Douglas indicated that the unit is aware of the ever-evolving ingenuity of criminals and has prioritized training in cyber-crime to assist in detection and apprehension and will establish an advisory board to protect the integrity of the programme.
He also stressed that the Treasury Department does not wish the advisory to affect the maintenance of normal relationships between financial institutions in the United States and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis more broadly.
Dr. Douglas issued another declaration of the government’s no-tolerance policy of criminals attempting to enter the programme. “It is already a matter of established policy that St. Kitts-Nevis will revoke citizenship if any St. Kitts-Nevis economic citizen becomes involved in criminality. This is a current policy. And we will not hesitate to enforce it.”