St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme is widely regarded as the platinum brand in the economic citizenship industry and the most trusted programme globally.
“I don’t know if there have been any accurate predictions coming from the Labour Party over the last 10 years as to the way in which the CBI would develop, so I would discount anything that comes from there,” Prime Minister Harris said while responding to a question posed by the media during Wednesday’s (November 14) monthly Press Conference.
Prime Minister Harris stated that when these unfavourable reports are being made in the public domain, citizens and residents must first examine who are propagating these reports and consider whether these parties have vested interests.
The Prime Minister urged local media representatives to conduct investigative reports on these matters and not rely on “the irresponsible commentary of people who have a lust for political power at any cost.”
Furthermore, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris reminded the nation of the reputational damage done to the country’s CBI programme under the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led administration.
“Under our watch, there was no FinCEN Advisory in relation to illicit actors participating in the programme; under our watch no government has withdrawn their visa [free access], and yet the CBI is near dead if you listen to the bitter pill that Dr. Douglas wants you to believe.”
The advisory issued in May 2014 by the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) stated that foreign individuals were abusing the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI programme to obtain passports for the purpose of engaging in illicit financial activity.
The issuance of this advisory was followed in November 2014 by the Canadian government’s revocation of its visa-free waiver for persons carrying St. Kitts and Nevis passports.
At yesterday’s press conference, Les Khan, the CEO of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) said, “It is most important to recognize that the number of applications [to St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme] has increased tremendously from the last three or four years. In 2018, we have had more applications in total, than over the last four years.”