by Linda Straker
- Incoming ECCB Monetary Council chair to spearhead CIP inquiry
- Joint Regional Communication Centre Agency is part of region’s multilateral crime and security management architecture
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, Incoming Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Monetary Council, is to spearhead an inquiry to determine whether all countries with Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) are making it mandatory for all applicants to undergo regional security due diligence.
Speaking to reporters at the weekly post-cabinet briefing on Tuesday morning, Dr Mitchell said that the matter came up during last week’s monetary council meeting in which he took over the chairmanship from Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
“There are reports circulating of some Citizenship by Investment applicants who are receiving passports without the regional body getting the data about the applicant nor conducting the relevant due diligence,” he said.
“Despite the fact that some are saying that this doesn’t happen in their jurisdiction, the fact is rumours are out there, and I told my colleagues that we have to deal with this. If it’s not true then we have to confront it, we cannot just say it’s not true because the rumours are being circulated, so they have mandated me to get the facts, to examine the issue and get the facts,” he said.
“So if there is anyone who did not go through that process I will know and I will confront my department if it’s in Grenada, If it’s in St Kitts we will show them, that the records shows that IMPACS did not have a say in it, did not give its approval and they should check it and verify,” he added.
The Joint Regional Communication Centre Agency is one of three agencies that is described as the nerve centre of the region’s new multilateral crime and security management architecture, specifically designed to administer a collective response to the crime and security priorities of Member States, under the directives of, and with reporting responsibility to the Council of Ministers of National Security and Law Enforcement.
Besides Grenada, there are CBI programmes in St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda. Citizenship-by-Investment programmes offer the applicant the opportunity to legally acquire new citizenship through financial investment in the country.
There is a common understanding by the countries with CBI programme that all CBI applicant must undergo due diligence with the centre and its related security agencies.