BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 10TH, 2017 (PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris disclosed during an address to the nation yesterday, Tuesday, May 9th, 2017, that the St. Kitts-Nevis Government is actively investigating the matter surrounding two economic citizens who are alleged to have defrauded state institutions in the People’s Republic of China of US$100 million.
The two persons in question applied for and obtained St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship in September 2013 during the tenure of the Denzil Douglas regime.
They have been residing in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis since the year 2014 when then-Prime Minister Douglas was also Minister of National Security.
Three years later, political opponents are now falsely accusing Prime Minister Harris and his Government of National Unity of harbouring the individuals who are on Interpol’s wanted list.
In his National Address last night, Prime Minister Harris gave the backstory of how the two economic citizens took up residence in the Federation in the first place.
“On May 26th, 2014, USNCB [the United States National Central Bureau] Interpol Washington [which coordinates law enforcement activities between U.S. agencies and their international counterparts] issued what is known as a Red Notice for the two individuals in question. On the face of the Red Notice, it is clearly stated that it was circulated to the media including the Internet,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said last night on national radio and TV.
Dr. Harris explained that, “The Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition in accordance with the national laws. This Red Notice stated: ‘Please apply provisional arrest in conformity with National Laws and applicable bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties.’ On July 22nd, 2014, the Interpol Office in Washington, D.C. advised the authorities in St. Kitts that the individuals in question were traveling to St. Kitts and gave details of travel times and flight numbers, showing that the individuals were to arrive into St. Kitts on British Airways Flight 2157 at 15.40 via Antigua. The authorities were asked to take action.”
The Honourable Prime Minister further stated: “Dr. Denzil Douglas was fully informed by the St. Kitts and Nevis Police of the Interpol Red Notice and that these individuals were to arrive into St. Kitts on British Airways, but absolutely no action was taken. No effort was made to deny these individuals permission to land in St. Kitts and Nevis. No effort was made to initiate any proceedings against or in relation to these individuals. No steps whatsoever were taken in relation to the Interpol Red Notice.”
Prime Minister Harris continued: “Just a few weeks ago, this matter was brought up for the first time to my Government by one of our OECS neighbours, which has diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.”
During his address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Harris rejected in the strongest terms the baseless and unfounded allegation that his administration is harbouring the individuals.
“As a responsible member of the international community, St. Kitts and Nevis will never become a safe haven for criminals,” Prime Minister Harris affirmed last night, adding: “All nations of the world can be assured of our fullest cooperation in the global fight against crime and criminality.”
Prime Minister Harris revealed that, “Your Government has therefore instructed the relevant law enforcement and investigative agencies to investigate the claims against these individuals so that we can determine if there is a legal basis to strip them of the privilege of having the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis and the great honour of being holders of our country’s passport.”
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis added, “…active steps have already been taken by our law enforcement authorities within the bounds of St. Kitts and Nevis law.”