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St. Kitts and Nevis opposition leader clears air on IPSA

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Published 17 May 2017

St. Kitts and Nevis opposition leader clears air on IPSA

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 17th 2017 – Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has refuted a statement from Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris that it was his Team Unity Government that hired the due diligence firm IPSA to review the Federation’s 28-year-old Citizenship by Investment Programme.

In a May 9th 2017 Press Release headed: “PM Harris: ‘St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Program is the platinum standard of the Global Industry,’ Press Secretary, Ms Valencia Grant quoted Dr. Harris as stating that his Team Unity Government “hired the international due diligence firm IPSA to do an intensive review.”

But Dr. Douglas said Tuesday:”That is not true. Prime Minister Harris well knows that is not true. He knows that it was the Labour Government that contracted IPSA to carry out a study of the Citizenship by Investment Programme. The programme was completely reviewed by the Labour Administration that hired which completed its work in October 2014 and it was Mr. Les Khan, who reviewed the programme.”

Dr. Douglas pointed out that since the change of administration, the new Team Unity Government, Mr. Khan has been employed by Dr. Harris to head the Citizenship by Investment Unit.

“Dr. Harris is incapable of telling the truth. Even in that article that was also sent overseas, Dr. Harris has to lie,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed out that several of the 20 recommendations were already implemented by the time

At his first Cabinet meeting in January 2014, Dr. Douglas, then Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and chairman of the Cabinet, outlined a number of policy matters that had to be accomplished by year end, one of which was a total review of the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

The Cabinet submission 141/2014 entitled “Strengthening the Citizenship by Investment Programme” was approved on Monday 7th July 2014.

The submission identified the threats to the programme, outlined an Action Plan for strengthening the programme, and identified new areas to strengthen the regulatory framework one of which was the establishment of a Commission or Board to provide greater oversight of the Citizenship by Investment Programme as a means of addressing the concerns of developers and service providers.

The submission also outlined am implementation mechanism with specific timelines.

An implementation team consisting of the Cabinet Secretary, the Financial Secretary, the PS/Homeland Security, the PS/Foreign Affairs, the Director of the FIU, the Director General of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission, the Legal Counsel of the CIU, and a lawyer from the Legal Department and the Head of the CIU and Mrs. Hazel Ross-Robinson.

The IPSA team was appointed on September 7th 2014 and completed their report with some 20 recommendations on December 22nd 2014.

On 29th December 2014, the Cabinet considered and accepted the recommendations and approved the establishment of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Commission with membership drawn from the Public and Private Sectors.

Photo: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas

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