An Open Response to Lennox Linton

Gregor Nassief. File photo

September 9th, 2019

Dear Lennox,

 

Pre-Amble

On September 3rd, 2019 on the Hot Seat, you stated in reference to matters relating to the Range/Kempinski Project: “when you examine those elements closely you seeing the outline of an elaborate scheme to cheat and steal.”  You then inferred the possibility of local developers, including myself & Secret Bay who you named directly, being involved in such an elaborate scheme: “These arrangements that people like those responsible for Jungle Bay and those responsible for the villas at Secret Bay, Residences at Secret Bay and the Anichi, Mr. Alick Lawrence and others are benefitting from.  So we have been able to have a window into the operations of the Kempinski by Range, these are two foreign people. But we have locals as well. Friends of the Government.  Who are benefiting from the real estate arrangements that are part of the Citizenship by Investment program.  And you can understand now why is it that these agents and these people who are benefitting , these locals are keeping their mouth shut. Nobody is speaking up for the integrity of the scheme.  Nobody is speaking up for operating it properly in the public interest.  Because it appears from what we are seeing with Kempinski that there is a lot of money for these people, these locals, these friends of Skerrit, the Sam Raphaels, the Gregor Nassiefs, the Alick Lawrences and so on. To make… There is lots of money for them to make over and above what is needed for the hotel development. What is needed for the construction of the hotel. There is a lot of money for them to be made given this Kempinski model, this Range Kempinski model.”

While the legal implications of these statements are being pursued, I have, at your invitation decided to “unshut” my mouth, and respond to what I consider to be at best intellectual dishonesty and at worst intellectual incompetence.  My response, again at your invitation, is intended to also provide anyone willing to read, an insider’s view of the CBI program and how it works.  Though the program is relatively complex, it continues to astound me the numerous myths and fallacies that abound about the CBI program, and how few people really understand how the program works, and more astounding is how anyone could really take seriously an allegation that ec$1.2b could “go missing” in an economy the size of ours.

My response, as contained herein, will be in three parts: Part I: The Business of CBI, Part II: The Business of Real Estate (aka “where de money gone”) and Part III: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Forgive the long windedness of my response but based on the recent statements you made, I have to assume the need to go back to basics.

 

Part I: The Business of CBI

Residence and citizenship by investment programs are now offered by over 80 countries and the global industry is conservatively estimated to be a US$21.4 billion market that’s growing by 23% a year.  A report last week from IMI Insider stated that “57,000+ Chinese spent more than US$44 Billion on in the last decade.” When a country enters the CBI market they are not doing so for philanthropic reasons, they are doing it to generate revenue and investment.  It’s a highly competitive market with minimum investments ranging from us$100,000 to Euro $2 million.  And those of us with romantic ideals (myself included) of requiring our Economic Citizens to come to Dominica in order to obtain Citizenship or to demanding that they pay much higher prices for Citizenship are ignoring competitive forces and losing site of the fact that the day we move in this direction is the day we decide to exit the industry.  One can argue as to whether one likes or dislikes the concept of “selling passports” as it is commonly termed, but so long as our Government stays in the CBI game – as each successive one has done for the past 26 years – then it is a business in which we must remain competitive.  The current Government’s restructuring of the program in 2014 has led to Dominica becoming a market leader within the Caribbean region and generating to date billions of dollars in economic activity for Dominica.

So why would people be spending us$24b a year on residence and citizenship by investment programs offered by over 80 countries?  There are many factors, but the prevailing one is “an insurance policy against future uncertainty”.  One of the fastest emerging source markets for second citizenship is South Africa.  The currency is in a downward spiral, crime is out of control and the country’s passport is increasingly problematic for travel, so South Africans who can afford it are investing in second Citizenship.  Think of Yemen, Egypt, Hong Kong, Taiwan.  Think of restrictions on freedom in China or Russia or Saudi Arabia.  We all want to be able to travel, with our family, for our children’s education, for business, and in a worst case scenario if our country collapses, we need mobility options.

Now on the selling side of this equation, in China alone there are 27,000 “immigration agents”.  Add the other major markets of the Middle East and Africa, Russia, South East Asia and India (these “immigration agents” market and promote Citizenship or Residency options to their clients, not to be confused with licensed “authorized agents” that process Citizenship applications).

In summary, there are 80+ countries offering one type or another of Citizenship or Residency options, of which 5 are in the Caribbean, and there are tens of thousands of agents spread across the globe, and you should begin to get a sense of the legitimacy, size, complexity and competitiveness of this global industry for 2nd Citizenship and Residency.

 

Part II: The Business of Real Estate

If after looking at the scores of programs available worldwide, a potential economic citizen looks at the Dominica program, they are faced with two options tabled below: the Economic Diversification Fund option, also known as the “Donation” option. The other option, called the “Real Estate” option, requires a minimum us$200,000 investment into the Real Estate project and an additional minimum of us$25,000 into the Economic Diversification Fund.  The amount going into the Real Estate project is a minimum of us$200,000 regardless of the size of the family, while the associated amount for Real Estate going into the Economic Diversification Fund is a minimum of us$25,000 which increases according to the size of the family:

Before I get into the statements you made surrounding Real Estate, it is important to ask the simple question:  Why would a potential economic citizen select the more expensive Real Estate option over the Donation option?  A single Applicant typically won’t think twice because the Donation option is us$100,000 while the Real Estate option (investment plus EDF) starts at $225,000.  But as the family size grows, say a family of 4, the Donation option is $200,000 vs. the Real Estate option at us$235,000.  So at a family size of 4 or more, the potential investor may consider Real Estate for the simple reason that they are investing in something tangible, an asset that they can potentially get a financial return on and potentially resell in the future, while the Donation option is a direct contribution to the Government EDF which does not result in the ownership of an asset.  This basic point of the Real Estate investment delivering a tangible asset to the investor seems to escape you as you have used the term “free money” time and time again, recently stating for example “the handing over of the passport, in exchange for monies that end up as free money in the hands of developers to do work in Dominica”.

There is nothing “free” about the investment monies that developers attract.  It is not, as you or others may believe, CBI money that the Government has that they hand over to the Developer.  It is hard won investment monies in a highly competitive market earned by the developer.  As you should be aware, that there are approximately 100 CBI real estate projects in St. Kitts, over 40 in Antigua, almost 20 in Grenada and currently 6 in Dominica plus countless developments in European programs plus the currently quota-restricted EB5 in the US.  Why would an investor choose Jungle Bay in Dominica vs. Kimpton Kawana in Grenada vs. Christophe Harbor in St. Kitts vs. Canelles in St. Lucia or a development in Greece or Malta or Cyprus?  It’s a hard won battle that agents and developers fight, with very significant sales commissions in the mix, and each investment is scrutinized by the investor, because after all, they can spend less money and simply go with the Donation/EDF option.  So there is no “free money” being handed over here.

Another incredible statement from you (with Matt in the background saying “Why do you want a cut”): “I’m asking, if you are making your fees as a seller of passports, you putting the Government’s money in the treasury, you putting the investment now into the real estate project, why are you still taking a commission on the investor’s money, what is supposed to be the investor’s money.”  You are implying here that developers are agents “selling passports”.  A ludicrous statement.  Secret Bay is not a CBI agent, we do not “sell passports” and as such we cannot and do not collect fees from anyone for “selling” or “processing” passports.  We are in the business of promoting our real estate, our villas, and attracting investments into those assets.  Your reference to “taking a commission on the investor’s money” is also mind boggling. You are using the term “commission” to describe a developer’s profit, and implying that developer’s should not be entitled to a “profit” from selling their hotel or villas or real estate product because they are “making fees as a seller of passports”.  So using Secret Bay as an example, I spend 20 years purchasing 33+ acres of land in over 10 separate transactions, I invest tens of millions of dollars, plus borrow money from the bank, our incredible Secret Bay team runs a hotel for eight years with all of their blood, sweat and tears, we gain unparalleled international recognition with our “local brand” going global, we invest more and embark on building many more villas, and our villas are being sold to both Citizenship and Non Citizenship investors, and every investment dollar we get is hard fought and won, and you, Lennox, are telling me that we are not entitled to a profit?  And you claim to be a friend of the private sector?

It is time that you educate yourself on Real Estate development.  Outside of the CBI program, real estate developers will aim for anything between a 16% and a 20% return, which we can term a “development profit”.  And within the CBI program, due to the higher risks involved, the targeted margins can be higher.  Many developments go bankrupt before they are completed, usually because sales lag and/or due to significant construction costs overruns, and the average profit actually achieved in the end for those that do not go bankrupt is often substantially lower.

You further stated: “There is lots of money for them to make over and above what is needed for the hotel development. What is needed for the construction of the hotel”.  Have you made any effort Lennox to understand how real estate development works?  Are you aware for example that construction costs typically account for between 50% and 60% of the total real estate development costs in a CBI scenario, with sales and marketing expenses, particularly commissions to international marketing agents, adding significant costs, in addition to many other line items including pre-operating costs.  As you clearly need to do some research, I suggest you read 2018 HVS Global Hospitality study and the 2018 BCQS Construction Market Trend Report for the Caribbean& Latin America.  You will note that costs for Luxury Resorts can and often do exceed us$600,000 per key/room (this is not what it cost to build the room, it is the total construction costs divided by the number of rooms).  You will also notice construction prices per Sq. Ft. ranging between us$250 to us$550, and you should know that currently, in Dominica, to build a major hotel requires foreign contractors and crew at significantly higher costs due to lack of available local resources.  And finally, you cannot seriously talk about profit without understanding risk.  So half way through a major CBI project, the bottom falls out of the CBI market, no more sales, everything grounds to a halt.  What happens then to the developer’s investment, the loans, the debt and the half-built project?  Bankruptcy happens.

Secret Bay’s example.  After 8 years of operations and multiple expansions, and then a battering by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and an incredible effort to re-open in November 2018, we are continuing to expand and build out our resort, and CBI is but one channel of equity financing: there is my own equity, the equity of other shareholders, bank loans, equity investments from non-Citizenship buyers and equity investments from Citizenship buyers.  Before we even applied to the Government for approval under the CBI program, nearly ec$20m had been spent, for the land, the resort construction, master planning, design and engineering services of every kind, major infrastructure works, and the list goes on.  We applied for CBI approval in 2015 – long after we began operating – and it took an incredible (and in my opinion shameful) 3.5 long years for Government approval which came in February 2019.  We have since opened offices in Dubai, engaged Sales Directors in Dubai and Mainland China (for Citizenship sales) and in the Caribbean (for non-Citizenship sales) and invested untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and marketing to promote our villas, and we have already began construction works on the expansion.  We have seen no “free money” coming in yet, as you call it, but we are committed to our vision, and willing to take the risk.

“Free money”, and an “elaborate scheme to cheat and steal”?  I encourage you Lennox, or any of the “Friends of Lennox Linton” – DO IT!  Buy land, produce architectural and engineering concepts, start building, investment everything, borrow money, prepare your budgets and financial forecasts inclusive of your “developers profit”, go through an exhaustive Government approval process, hire a global sales and marketing team, invest in and develop your brand, go out into a global market as a newcomer, travel non-stop, take on the well-established titans, and keep going especially when there is no momentum, and all you have on your shoulders is investment and debt, but keep the faith, keep committed, work 24×7 because now you have to answer agent phone calls at 10pm from Dubai and 2am from China, and keep going, persevere my friend, pursue that elusive profit!  After you have done that, then come at us with your serial speculation and illogical inferences.

Now “Housing”, the 3rd option recently made available to investors.  Housing is like Real Estate in that there is a private developer involved but it is also like EDF/donation in that the investor gets no asset in return.  So it’s a hybrid product, a “mix” of the two (and note that no developer or agent is happy with it because it provides for preferential market pricing to reflect the Government’s priority on housing).  So the particular developer finds clients on their own for this “hybrid” CBI offering: the investor invests their money, the developer uses these funds to build out Housing projects and the State, having taken zero risk, gets the Housing assets in return, and the developer reaps a profit.

This bring us to the very important point of how money is accounted for and who “owns” what money, aka “where de money gone”.  Note that if the Government was to include in its public accounts, based on how developer contracts are structured, the supposed “missing” money, it would be fraudulent because that money does not belong to Government, it belongs to the developers.  This is the standard in all the OECS CBI Programs. In fact, the one situation where a regional Government dared to breach that arrangement and to use the designated funds, they were successfully litigated against by a developer. In other words, if an investor invests us$200,000 in purchasing a Villa, and the developer transfers full title of that Villa to that investor, how can the $200,000 be reported as Government revenue?  No, ONLY the $25,000 that the investor pays to Government (refer to table above) is what goes into the Treasury and this is what is reported in the Government’s public accounts.  Incredibly, you have not grasped this and prefer, as is traditional for you, to seek spin rather than seeking a deeper understanding and truth.

Now Secret Bay, like all developers, has an Escrow account to which the Government is a signatory.  The monies from investors buying villas at Secret Bay that gets past due diligence are deposited in this account – this is Secret Bay’s money, not the Governments, because it is money used to purchase a financial interest in a real estate asset at Secret Bay, it is NOT money being used to “purchase a passport”.  Here is the thing you do not seem to understand: the fact that they have made the investment in Secret Bay “qualifies” them for Dominica Citizenship, and then they must also pay the minimum us$25,000 (using the example above) to the Government to obtain Citizenship, but their $200,000 has earned them a real tangible financial interest in a Secret Bay villa.

Why is the Government doing this: because the Government wants its CBI program to generate money a) into its Treasury for direct Government investments, b) into its tourism sector to ensure the country’s hotel plant rapidly expands and c) into its housing sector to deliver a very significant number of homes to the population after two major natural disasters.

You may question the Government’s motivation for structuring the agreements and escrow accounts in this way, but Dominica’s Real Estate program is, in general terms, no different than St. Kitts or Antigua or Grenada, in that the monies that go into those developments are not reflected in Government accounts.  The program has seen the re-launch of Jungle Bay, the soon to be opening of Kempinski, and both Anichi and the Hilton are in their construction phases.  You may prefer to “eliminate” the private developer from the equation, let the Government do the hard work and let the Government take the full risk of marketing, sales, construction and delivery.  I can guarantee you that this would yield a disaster in poorly managed construction projects (aka The Morocco Hotel), massive cost overruns, deadlines going years beyond what they should and half-built or unbuilt hotels.  That is why no other Government in the region has structured real estate any different from Dominica.

All of that being said, I am 100% in favor of more transparent accountability so the public has a much better understanding of how the industry is structured and how monies are allocated, but to serially engage in the nonsensical speculation of $1.2b “missing”, and to infer that developers like myself may be involved in an “elaborate scheme to cheat and steal” and to suggest that this is the reason that we are “keeping our mouth shut”, is, as I have said earlier, at best intellectual dishonesty and at worst intellectual incompetence.

 

Part III: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good.  When Dominica instituted the Real Estate option in 2014, if differentiated itself in a number of ways.  First, the approval process is arduous.  Second, it requires that all investment monies destined to a real estate project are deposited into a developer’s escrow account which the Government has control over as a signatory, and even though that money belongs to the developer, it is only released to the developer if there is correlating progress in the project.  In other words, if the developer sells and receives 20% of the total investment, the Government does not allow the release of those funds until the developer shows 20% progress on construction.  This requires the investor to financially front-load the investment – meaning to provide their own financing ahead of receiving any funds from escrow such that construction advances.  I have heard developers seemingly on the edge of a nervous breakdown because the Financial Secretary will not sign off on releasing their money to their project.  But this prevents a developer from receiving money and not putting it into construction, something that has happened repeatedly in another jurisdictions.  Also, the Government has deliberately kept the funnel of CBI real estate projects “tight” (so only a few projects at a time) thus increasing the probability of each project completing.  Look at Dominica’s pipeline of projects vs. other jurisdictions: https://www.imidaily.com/cbi-real-estate-watch/  It’s smart policy and increases each developer’s probability of success.  And lastly, but certainly not least, Agents and Applicants alike laud Dominica’s CBI unit for its efficiency and speed of processing while maintaining very high due diligence standards.

The Bad & The Ugly.  The regional CBI programs are extremely vulnerable and one major failure in due diligence could begin to derail it.  This requires an unrelenting effort to ensure the best and most comprehensive due diligence process, and to further enhance that, Dominica needs to implement biometric passports, a move that is, in my opinion, long overdue.  The industry also needs much tighter regulations – there are unscrupulous agents and developers making a mess of things for everyone else offering what are known as “special deals”, completely undercutting the market and undermining the entire program and the respective Governments are not cracking down.  The special hybrid Housing offering, while beneficial to Dominica, creates a serious challenge for the program to the point that some agents are now refusing to offer Dominica because they cannot compete with the Housing option.  The banking process of receiving funds from economic citizens is frustrating at best, and more needs to be done to increase efficiency and customer service while applying the necessary due diligence requirements.  In summary, the five participating Caribbean CBI countries need to establish uniform regulations and guidelines, inclusive of severe penalties for those developers and agents engaged in unethical and illegal practices.  Such regulations should also include minimum transparency and accountability requirements for the programs.   And as a final note, we are building many, many hotels, but these projects will not deliver on the promise of a sustainable economic impact if we are unable to fill the rooms and attract many more visitors to the island, an imminent challenge that requires a lot more focus and action.

 

In Closing 

CBI Real Estate projects do not receive Government CBI monies, Economic Citizens choosing the real estate option are actual investors and become owners of the real estate projects, Government cannot report developer’s money as their own, “total construction cost” does not equal “total real estate development cost” and developers should be entitled to a profit for making significant investments and taking significant risks in the marketing, sales and development of real estate projects.

Finally, while it is obvious you have no serious knowledge or understanding of the workings of the real estate option, or the terms of my agreement, I must invite you to publicly apologize for what I consider to be your insidious and baseless inferences or innuendoes made against me as the developer of Secret Bay on September 3rd, during your discussion with Mr. Matthias Peltier on the Hot Seat on Q95.

Time is of essence on this one as this will not be taken lightly because I must protect my reputation and that of Secret Bay.

 

Regards,

Gregor Nassief

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127 Comments

  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 12, 2019

    “Good morning Francisco
    Sadly I think we will simply have to agree to differ.

    I see the CBI program as a way of kick starting the economy, a way of obtaining capital funds without the need to borrow money, a way of improving the lives of Dominicans. I think of the expression “the end justifies the means” can be applied in a positive way”(Peter).

    Let us say I agree with you to a certain extent. You must accept the fact that Dominica existed prior to the sale of passports. So, when you say: ” I see the CBI program as a way of kick starting the economy;”

    I must ask you which economy?

    You need to recognized that Dominica is the only nation in the Caribbean, and as far I perceive it to be in the world which economy right now is totally based and dependent on the sale of passports.

    Peter where are our industries, the economy of a country should be based on industries not selling passports!

    • Peter
      September 17, 2019

      Good moning Francisco

      You will probably be familiar with the the expression “Give a man some bread and you feed him for a day. Give a man some seeds and you feed him for life.”

      So I don’t see the CBI program as being the base of the economy. I see it as the seed corn that, having been planted and tended, will grow to produce more crops into the future. This will, I hope, lead to an improvement in the quality of lives for Dominicans.

      “… the economy should be based on industries…” What industries did you have in mind? We sell Dasheen, Yams, Plantain etc to the Hucksters for export to neighbouring islands. We earn a miserable return on capital invested. Do you really want (or expect) the current generation of young people to be working in the fields as their grand parents did? It is not going to happen.

      Tourism is a possible industry that will bring jobs offering Dominicans an opportunity to better their lives. To achieve this the island needs hotels…

  2. Eddy A
    September 12, 2019

    Nassief, everything considered, you scored a massive own goal. I thought you are cleverer than that.

  3. NeutralJoe
    September 11, 2019

    Please take off your political hats. And answer the questions honestly:
    (a) Did you READ the letter? NO (don’t comment until you do)
    (b) Does the Government Lack transparency? YES
    (c) Should Linton have named Nassief and Secret Bay in his rant on Q95? NO.
    (d) Should Nassief have responded to Linton’s attack on his reputation and Secret Bay’s reputation: YES.
    (e) Is $1.2b really missing? NO (READ DE LETTER)
    (f) Do you have a deep understanding of the CBI Program? NO (READ DE LETTER)
    If you are on DNO now commenting, you have nothing better to do, so READ DE LETTER.
    NeutralJoe

    • RandyX
      September 12, 2019

      A) yes
      B) yes
      C) yes, why not
      D) yes, but don’t try to fool us
      E) yes
      F) yes, and I understand it better than you. Otherwise you wouldn’t have swallowed everything Nassief said.

  4. foreign observer
    September 11, 2019

    Part 4

    I know there are thousands of hard working Dominicans who desire nothing more than to have steady employment to provide for themselves and their families, to build their own homes, to invest in their own country.

    Mr. Nassief states that building resorts cost more because foreign contractors and crews are required due to the lack of available local resources. Given the current unemployment situation in Dominica, how can this possibly go unchallenged? Or are foreign workers used so that labour and employment conditions can be ignored? Who is working on all those MMCE construction sites? I’ve neither seen nor heard of them employing significant numbers of Dominicans.

    It is time, I believe, to shut this program down completely until a full forensic audit can be performed. Absent information to the contrary that such an action will harm ordinary Dominicans, it is the least that should be done. Cannot a court injunction be obtained to this effect?

  5. foreign observer
    September 11, 2019

    Part 3

    Contrary to Mr. Nassief’s assertion that developers are not selling passports, in the case of MMCE that is exactly what is happening. MMCE is in the business of selling economic citizenship around the world, and acting as immigration agents for a variety of other countries. It is their raison d’etre. Suddenly, in the case of Dominica, they have morphed into property developers – the SOLE SOURCE of all the housing reconstruction and, as recently announced, vested with the responsibility of building health centres throughout the country.

    There has been no public accountability with regard to this secret MMCE program. No information about exactly how many Dominican passports have been sold under its auspices. No information about how much has been spent to build these edifices this far, versus how much has been collected. And, certainly no information about where surplus funds have gone, except not into the Treasury of Dominica.

    Continued in Part 4

  6. foreign observer
    September 11, 2019

    Part 2

    Now to address the specifics of Mr. Nassief’s commentary.

    Mr. Nassief’s decision to address only the two published components of the CBI program are ingenuous and deceptive. Those are not the programs which are currently in dispute. What is being disputed at this time is the “secret” program between MMCE and Dominica, collecting funds for the building of “climate resistant” housing throughout the country, none of which are entered into government revenues as admitted by the Prime Minister in his budget address. Moreover, MMCE is the sole source for this secret program – secret because it appears neither on the Dominican web site nor that of MMCE.

    Continued in Part 3

    • NeutralJoe
      September 11, 2019

      My friend, Nassief was named by Linton on Q95 in relation to real estate development and cheating and stealing…. that is what the man is responding to. He also addresses housing and MMCE, but his response is directed to what Linton said about him and other real estate developers. READ DE LETTER NUH. I read it, and I now understand CBI.

    • September 11, 2019

      @foreign observer: “Those are not the programs which are currently in dispute. What is being disputed at this time is the “secret” program between MMCE and Dominica, collecting funds for the building of–” Those are your words

      And if what you said is factual, why did Linton mentioned the names of those certain people in his grievances?

      The explanation the Mr. Nassief provided is not deceptive, it explains the work of the CBI programs in general; if Linton was aware of the way the program works, maybe he would not come with those unfair and rude accusations.

  7. September 11, 2019

    Hello and good afternoon my people. Well Mr Nassief I read your article but you still didn’t say how you, Sam and Alex qualify for CBI funds. I know three of you born in Dominica and Alex is related to my mother. I have no problem if our government regardless of political party give you all money from the CBI funds to build your hotel which will employ our people but what percentage of the property does our government own since it’s our money. I hope you not saying that our government should just give you all funds from our treasury and we don’t own any part of the property.
    The Main problem is that our Prime Minister is the finance minister and that creates problems when it’s time to account for our funds in the treasury.

    • Just saying
      September 11, 2019

      The money in question is NOT our money. It is Citizenship By Investment. The individual pays for the passport and that money goes in the Treasury(Our money). But that is only a small amount in the whole Citizenship/Passport process. As the name spells out; Citizenship By Investment, so IN ADDITION to paying for the passport (which money goes in the treasury), the most attractive ones requires the individual to make an Investment in some qualified business venture IN the Country. Now that is not a payment for the passport, it is only an INVESTMENT which is a COMPULSORY REQUIREMENT in the process. It is not called CBI just so. Now understand this… If an individual makes an Investment, the Investment belongs to NO one else but the individual. Therefore, like it or not, the majority of the money generated in CBI does NOT belong to Government/People of Dominica, it still remains the Investors own. The aim is to attract investments in our country. Gov being effective so Opposition mad.

      • September 12, 2019

        To: Just Saying

        Hello and good afternoon my people. First I must tell you that Alex Lawrence is related to me. I know that Sam Raphael born in Dominica but am not sure if Gregory Nassief born in Dominica. Can you please tell me what citizenship will the three men gain after their hotels a completed. The government gave them money to build their hotels.

      • Eddy A
        September 13, 2019

        Ok, so where in the treasury is all the money that foreign passport buyers paid?? Passport only or CBI passport, there is money missing in the treasury. Don’t try and fool us, you are just simply not smart enough, exactly like YOUR PM.

  8. foreign observer
    September 11, 2019

    Part 1

    Since I first read this yesterday, I have been pondering where to begin to respond. So I have decided to go back to the beginning – The Economic Citizenship project introduced in 1993 under the government of Eugenia Charles (DFP). A modest beginning, citizenship available for USD50K, common fund (if I recall correctly) for infrastructure projects. Some years pass and by the latter part of the 1990s, under an UWP government, the minimum buy-in becomes USD100K. But by then, concerns were being raised about due diligence and the backgrounds of those who obtained Dominican citizenship. And abuse of Dominican passports began to raise its ugly head. But still the program remained relatively small. The DLP came into power in 2000 and have been controlling the program since, and with this came its current descent into the chaos before you today.

    Continued in Part 2

  9. DerekLovesTrotting
    September 11, 2019

    Incredible, from the outside. I sit in the Diaspora, concerned about CBI, confused about allegations of missing money, generally supporting a change, as Labor’s run seems just too long. So Lennox was my man, my hope, for change. But here he goes again, putting his foot in his mouth, speaking about things he does not fully understand, and naming respected persons in the private sector. Why? Why? Why? I have lost faith in Mr. Linton, as he does not learn. Keep supporting him, and if he wins, great, but do yourself a favor, read the long long letter, and you will understand a lot more than you do now. I finally understand CBI.

    • September 11, 2019

      To: DerekLovesTrotting

      Hello and good afternoon my people. I read the article also . So please tell me how can Mr Nassief, Raphael and Mr Lawrence qualify for CBI Funds to build their hotels. If the government gave them money from the CBI program that other people invested then what percentage of the hotel is owned by out government. They have to defend the program because they received money from our treasury and our people receive nothing. I don’t reside or vote in Dominica therefore I don’t take political sides.

  10. Skerrit public relations
    September 11, 2019

    I suppose now Sam will make a video, we know he cannot write like Nassief. And Alick Lawrence, always quiet, what say you?

  11. I vex
    September 11, 2019

    Sometimes I does be ashamed to tell people I’m a Dominican eh. How some of our people foolish so? A man is Minister of Finance, he cannot account for all our money. We are demanding he account or he resign, and we have people getting vex for that? So, we not supposed to question the Minister of Finance then? We have too many foolish people in Dominica. That’s why our country in that state. The more free college we get, the emptier our brains get, it look like. 8-O

  12. Use your head
    September 11, 2019

    If I were you Nassief, I would be nice to the next Prime Minister of Dominica. I’d treat him with respect. It is the wise thing to do.

  13. Leave Lennox alone
    September 11, 2019

    Nassief you are a bully. Do you realize that is exactly how threatening Lennox makes you look. You are the one damaging your own reputation with your open letter.

  14. DAPossieMassie
    September 11, 2019

    PART 1: BUSINESS OF CBI:
    PARAGRAPH 1 LINE 1: “Residence and citizenship by investment programs are now offered by over 80 countries and the global industry is conservatively estimated to be a US$21.4 billion market that’s growing by 23% a year.”
    By your own words’ Sir, there is a lot of money in the program, maybe you should have kept your mouth shut, because you have spilled the beans.
    LINE4: “When a country enters the CBI market they are not doing so for philanthropic reasons, they are doing it to generate revenue and investment.”
    LINE 6:
    “– as each successive one has done for the past 26 years.” Shrewdness and suggestive. “It’s a highly competitive market with minimum investments ranging from us$100,000 to Euro $2 million.” Dat is where the money comes from, thanks for the information. University to leave. In your effort to attack Mr. Linton, you have just showed up the Government’s incompetence. Do you even realize how much you have corroborated what you are attacking?

    • DAPossieMasse
      September 11, 2019

      PARAGRAPH 1 LINE 1:
      LINE 15: ”….has led to Dominica becoming a market leader…,” yet you tell us: ” how anyone could really take seriously an allegation that ec$1.2b could “go missing” in an economy the size of ours.” You must believe that African blood is foolish blood.

      Part II: The Business of Real Estate
      “Secret Bay is not a CBI agent, we do not “sell passports” and as such we cannot and do not collect fees from anyone for “selling” or “processing” passports. “
      PARAGRAPH 4: Line 7: “Secret Bay is not a CBI agent, we do not “sell passports” and as such we cannot and do not collect fees from anyone for “selling” or “processing” passports. “
      PARAGRAPH 7: Line 1 “a battering by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and an incredible effort to re-open in November 2018.” I applaud your business acumen for this accomplishment, while the government could not do the same and keep Ross in Dominica, consequently allowed the university to leave. Maybe you should have shared your capacity for…

    • DAPossieMassie
      September 11, 2019

      PARAGRAPH 1 LINE 1:
      LINE 15: ”….has led to Dominica becoming a market leader…,” yet you tell us: ” how anyone could really take seriously an allegation that ec$1.2b could “go missing” in an economy the size of ours.” You must believe that African blood is foolish blood.

      Part II: The Business of Real Estate
      “Secret Bay is not a CBI agent, we do not “sell passports” and as such we cannot and do not collect fees from anyone for “selling” or “processing” passports. “
      PARAGRAPH 4: Line 7: “Secret Bay is not a CBI agent, we do not “sell passports” and as such we cannot and do not collect fees from anyone for “selling” or “processing” passports. “
      PARAGRAPH 7: Line 1 “a battering by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and an incredible effort to re-open in November 2018.” I applaud your business acumen for this accomplishment, while the government could not do the same and keep Ross in Dominica, consequently allowed the university to leave. Maybe you should have shared your capacity for…

    • DAPossieMasse
      September 11, 2019

      PARAGRAPH 7: Line 9 “We applied for CBI approval in 2015 – long after we began operating – and it took an incredible (and in my opinion shameful) 3.5 long years for Government approval which came in February 2019. We have since opened offices in Dubai…” Brrrror why did you write these apparent contradictory statements? Man you guys really believe we are all foolish!
      PARAGRAPH 13: Line 1 “You may question the Government’s motivation for structuring the agreements and escrow accounts in this way, but Dominica’s Real Estate program is, in general terms, no different than St. Kitts or Antigua or Grenada…” All the above mentioned countries have an international airport….. except Dominica.
      Part III: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Man you sound like a real insider
      And then it always ends up with a threatened lawsuit as expected. But you have made that possibility ineffective because you have clearly shown so many sides that any good lawyer will have a field day.

  15. EyeOpener
    September 11, 2019

    The public works garage is next!

  16. Jonathan Y St Jean
    September 11, 2019

    So Lennox throws one stone and the selfish who the cap fit is ” fighting back”. Tell me, how many people have or will ever have the privilege and opportunity that Gregor has to be front and center, involved in this spider web scheme of funding for hotel development in corrupt Dominica? So for Gregor to respond the way he has, as if it’s common knowledge is asinine.He also sounds as if it’s only a Labour Party government is interested in the Development of Dominica so he has to publicly throw his support behind everything that is going on with this covered down stew of an investment program. Most astute businesses would take what they can get and even lobby on behalf of other local businesses, but this guy cannot see Dominicans in the scheme of things, all he can see is money. He said that passport sales are to benefit the tourism sector and has not even mentioned any other sector that could benefit. His response reminds me of the Geneva estate episode.

  17. Plenty ignorance
    September 11, 2019

    I am now confused about the whole CBI issue, something is wrong somewhere. Mr Nassief claimed that the hotel belongs to the investors and as such their monies they invested into the hotel cant be placed as government monies, fine. Lets make it simple ,if the hotel cost 100 million to build and run for the first year and the property belongs them the investors why the balance of the 90 million of the total 190 million collected is not given back to the investors because its actually extra money that wasnt used in the hotel? If the buildings and the name of the hotel now worth lets say 150million how is it that the investors going to get back their money if the property has to close down and sold to reimburse the investors?. Something is wrong somewhere, in local business sense a bank cant give 50 thousand dollars to build a house and the house after construction only worth 25 thousand . How the bank going get its money if they have to sell the property. Cbi expert explain please.

  18. September 11, 2019

    “Oh what a Tangled web we weave when we practice to Deceive” where were these self proclaimed righteous Intellectually Dishonest defenders of truth and integrity, when Dominica/cans were hit by the following Storms category (1) Bin Bobol; category (2) Fertilizer Bobol; category (3) Land transfer deal; category (4) Villas bobol; category (5 ) Suzane Oldie $430,000 diplomatic passport bobol; category (6) kalinago Territory Hugo Chavez $10 million bobol; category (7) Petro Caribe $100 million US bobol; and the most destructive of them all, category (8) $1.2 billion CBI bobol. Yes Gregor “speak now or forever hold your peace” but your silence on those matters has been as loud as the article you have now written in defense of the self proclaimed god Roosevelt Skerrit, may the soul of our departed brave “Kallinago Warriors, RIP.

  19. Purple
    September 11, 2019

    Good read. Unfortunately, I don’t think many will read every word to really understand how the programs operate. Frankly, the “missing $1.2 billion” rhetoric just sells better.

    There’s a lot of work to be done to dispel the misinformation, inaccuracies and uncertainty circulating in the public opinion around the CBI program. A lot of it is ignorance, or perhaps incompetence; but a lot of it is malicious. At the end of the day tho, the responsibility is with the Government (and by extension, the developers) to educate the public. Too much of the narrative and perceptions around the program has been left to detractors too tell — or allowed to persist for political spin and counterspin. You see, you’ll also hear that the current administration “brings the hotels” (and all the positive economic spillover for tourism jobs, agricultural production, etc etc etc), which is equally as misleading. But alas, such is politics.

  20. September 11, 2019

    Thank you, Mr. Nassif, for this elaborate information; I hope that it was useful for most of us Dominicans.

    Without it, I would still be going back and forth in my mind trying to see what is right and what is wrong; however, I always believed that there was no substance to the allegation of the missing 1.2 billion dollars; for how could that be?

    I just don’t understand why those men, with their so-called high education, of the UWP does not talk some sense into their leader’s mind, instead of encouraging him to continue making a fool of himself. Don’t they know that they are in the foolish team as well?

    • RandyX
      September 11, 2019

      You are a fine one to talk. You are one of Skerrits eternal apologists and you are a proper hypocrite!

      • September 11, 2019

        @RandX, how are you different from me? Are you not just as hypocrite as I am defending your lame minded mind, Lennox Linton?

        So if I was on your side, nothing would be wrong with me; how smart do you think your complaints are against me?

        • RandyX
          September 14, 2019

          You are a hypocrite because you support Satan but claim to be a Christian. I on the other hand support Lennox who is a true patriot and wouldn’t steal a cent from the state. Furthermore, I have never claimed to be a Christian! The worst people are those who preach the gospel daily but act exactly the opposite. YOU are a prime example of that behaviour. For that reason you are a state of the art hypocrite…

  21. Eddy E
    September 11, 2019

    Ok Nassief, let me ask you a simple question: do you or any other member of your clan invest either money, Know-how or similar in any venture without asking for a share in return?? So if the PM of Dominica gives you 800 passport and asks for nothing in return, I would class this as extremely bad business for the state of DA something you would never do! So why should the PM in DA do something like that? Let me tell you why: to broaden and secure his power base in gaining favour from the establishment in DA. The PM has no mandate from the citizens of DA to give away state assets for nothing in return in particular not to those that have got plenty already all of which was earned at the back of the citizens of DA in the first place. History might repeat itself soon!!!

    • RandyX
      September 11, 2019

      …Geneva! History will repeat itself but this time the government won’t come to your rescue.

  22. September 11, 2019

    Boy oh boy. Mr. Nassief. You could not explain it better. Thank you so much. I have always seen Lynton as a man that take no time to understand how things work. But is very quick to spred falls rumours. For a man that want to lead a country and say he love his county. Brings out the worst there is about his country. Wow. This man goes out into the four corner of the world and say the worst things about THE NATURE ISLAND OF THE CARIBBEAN. I love Dominica. Thank you Nassief. Hope he take time to read your letter.

  23. Braindamage
    September 11, 2019

    Anon, you all can fool some people but not everyone.
    Passports are selling like hot bread. Where is de MONEY?
    18 long years of Skerrit Hard Labar, that’s Enuff.

  24. Black Dominican
    September 11, 2019

    Sir, what we the public are looking for is transparency, accountability and responsible sales people as if due diligence is not done effectively in the haste to close deals then this put all of us at risk. I can now travel to Europe without a visa, will this still be possible in the near future considering the vast number of unknowns associated with people holding my citizenship? Government should give proper records to justify that this program is beneficial to the country as thus far very little developments have been completed here compared to what we see in our sister islands.

  25. ?????????????????
    September 10, 2019

    I quote the last paragraph of Mr. Nassief “Finally, while it is obvious you have no serious knowledge or understanding of the workings of the real estate option, or the terms of my agreement, I must invite you to publicly apologize for what I consider to be your insidious and baseless inferences or innuendoes made against me as the developer of Secret Bay on September 3rd, during your discussion with Mr. Matthias Peltier on the Hot Seat on Q95.

    Time is of essence on this one as this will not be taken lightly because I must protect my reputation and that of Secret Bay.

    Lennox! Lennox! Lennox! Please for goodness sake. Educate yourself! Stop this thing you doing! Just saying and saying and saying. there is a better way to oppose. Not by instigating others. Per chance perchance (which I highly doubt) you are creating a monster for yourself. Put this in your pipe and smoke!

  26. ??????????????
    September 10, 2019

    I want to hear them now the haters of this country. Those who mislead those who are less educated than them. Those who do nothing but hate and hurting themselves. Those who can explode like a volcano at any time because of the unecessary stress and pressure they put on themselves. Those whose facial expression shows it all and they can just jump on you if they suspect or think you support the other party that is not blue. Le those who have eyes , read. Those who have ears – listen. Those who do not comprehend and just like sensational stories to run with, ask and educate themselves before indulging in gossip. Here lies another article that explains about CBI. Go have your fill and understand. And do I have to say – stop hayee monde for ayen! You are hurting yourselves. Let us get back to the drawing board – Let us love one another as the Heavenly Father have asked us to. Hatred only kills the inside of the one hating. The other person u hate sometimes not aware whilst u

  27. Day
    September 10, 2019

    Sir I appretiate your effort to provide clarity an understanding in the matter.
    I guarantee you that even after this brilliant attempt to shed light on the subject, many will remain ignorant because we wont read it.

    • RandyX
      September 11, 2019

      We are not interested in Nassief’s essays. We want Skerrit to address the nation and publish the independently audited CBI accounts. We don’t want the waffle of Nassief, Raphael, Astaphan or any other Skerrit supporter.

  28. Just saying
    September 10, 2019

    I always say that Mr Linton is either very dishonest or very incompetent. And either way he is not fit to run the country.

    • Frank B stein
      September 11, 2019

      By your explanation Skerrit is even less fit!

  29. the city observer.
    September 10, 2019

    All rats that eating cheese must come out of their hole because Mr Linton have discovered $1.2 billion dollars missing, which is in some special account according to the prime minister. The rats guarding their cheese.

  30. Country Man
    September 10, 2019
  31. Countryman
    September 10, 2019

    This is what I call intellectual dishonesty. The system works for you and you will go to great lengths to defend it – you are a businessman and your business model is to maximize profits/returns using the free market – Milton Friedman. This sort of things does not and will not work for long in small economies and societies like Dominica. This will just widen the gap between that haves(like you) and the have nots (which is 95% of Dominicans). Actually this approach has not worked to well in developed economies – look at https://www.businessroundtable.org/business-roundtable-redefines-the-purpose-of-a-corporation-to-promote-an-economy-that-serves-all-americans.
    This is why the Gov’t, whether is is DFP, DLP, or UWP have to be transparent with the peoples money (through the sale of passports) and provide opportunities for the 95 percenters to gain upward mobility. At the moment you can say this is happening in Dominica. BTW Real Estate is a perfect platform for corruption

  32. Countryman
    September 10, 2019

    This is what I call intellectual dishonesty. The system works for you and you will go to great lengths to defend it – you are a businessman and your business model is to maximize profits/returns using the free market – Milton Friedman. This sort of things does not and will not work for long in small economies and societies like Dominica. This will just widen the gap between that haves(like you) and the have nots (which is 95% of Dominicans). Actually this approach has not worked to well in developed economies – look at https://www.businessroundtable.org/business-roundtable-redefines-the-purpose-of-a-corporation-to-promote-an-economy-that-serves-all-americans.
    This is why the Gov’t, whether is is DFP, DLP, or UWP have to be transparent with the peoples money (through the sale of passports) and provide opportunities for the 95 percenters to gain upward mobility. At the moment you can say this is happening in Dominica.

  33. Oh ti largent la
    September 10, 2019

    I say: Where de money gone?!
    Nassief, you will not distract us from asking for our money. You digging a pit for Lennox? Do you know what the Bible says about those who dig pits.

  34. Who stole the cookies
    September 10, 2019

    Mr. Nassief gave me a better picture of who stole the cookies from the cookie jar

  35. naneee
    September 10, 2019

    8-O You think Lenox Linton will comprehend what was posted on here? That post was way too long . After the first paragraph I found myself in LaLa land. I wonder if he can read

  36. Original
    September 10, 2019

    So we sell our sovereignty to citizens of countries which are rogues, potentially hampering our very own ability of growth for Dominican citizens. Then with all these opportunities, who regulates this from insider trading and the likes? Why are most of these developers foreigners who were never developers before this opportunity? Plus why so much secrecy in the CBI business? How is it that the government of Dominica donated land for the construction of Kempinski yet has no shares? Who are we working to benefit as a society?

  37. %
    September 10, 2019

    Go read Joshua’s response Gregor. It has you hanging on a string like a accomplished fool!! It has stripped you naked!!!
    That’s what you rightly deserve!!
    Good job Josh!!!
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money,?
    Whey is di money?

  38. Jack Sparrow
    September 10, 2019

    Sir,
    The writing is on the wall for you and others like you.
    You know for a fact that Lennox will make you account for every cent spent in Secret by the Bay. And if you can not account for the people money, the hotel will be sized and you will spend the rest of your days in jail.
    So all that long halleluja is pointless at this moment.
    Ring the bell lets get school started.

  39. Chakademus
    September 10, 2019

    I am not and have never been in favor of the CBI. It is a crass sellout of our birthright, dignity and sovereignty. I do not approve of the current government either, and believe they should be voted out. Having said that, however, this article is a clear, convincing, even if self-serving explanation of the program. I don’t know if anyone anywhere could have clarified it better. Of course Nassief looking for himself but honestly, anyone who reads this with an open mind will see through Linton’s shenanigans.

    • Eddy A
      September 11, 2019

      Has he told us where the missing money is??? I rest my case! All he gave us is a good dose of rethoric and propaganda in an attempt to justify the ‘investment’ from Skerrit. The net around that entire lot is getting tighter by the way. There isn’t much room to manoeuvre anymore!

      • Chakademus
        September 11, 2019

        Yes he did, but you would need to have read the article and applied an honest and open, presumably intelligent mind so you are excused for not getting it.

        • RandyX
          September 12, 2019

          You see not all of us are as ‘intelligent’ as Skerrit and his supporters. That’s why we don’t have to travel the globe to buy Doctorates, we rather earn them in accredited universities around the globe!

  40. Meme
    September 10, 2019

    Mr Nassief

    Arabs like you were the first to enslave black people. Massa day is done. You angry that the little black who work for your dad will soon be your master.

    What are you afraid of that you will not sell passport anymore

    • Eddy A
      September 11, 2019

      Very well spoken. Where ever there is a quick and easy dollar to make the Arabs are not far.

      • September 15, 2019

        To: Eddie A

        Hello and good afternoon my people. This is the mistake that you all are making about families like the Nassiefs and Asthaphans . They aren’t Arabs rather they are Jews who reside within Arab countries and they were sent all over the world to conduct business. Just like in America Jews either own or manage most important businesses. They making seems as if being Jewish is an ethnic group rather than a religious faith. They control at least sixty five percent of Dominica economy and their money is sent to Israel.

  41. TomE
    September 10, 2019

    The UWP is not interested in understanding how the process works. It is in their interest to mislead and spread propaganda. That way, the people will think there is something amiss with the program. Lennox is not a very bright fellow but he sure knows how to excite his cabal into violence.

  42. Shameless man
    September 10, 2019

    Morally bankrupt Nassief. Go on.

  43. DAPossieMasse
    September 10, 2019

    PRE AMBLE:
    PARAGARAPH 2 LINE 6: “how few people really understand how the program works, and more astounding is how anyone could really take seriously an allegation that ec$1.2b could “go missing” in an economy the size of ours.” Interesting that you would choose to defend the allegations while the government remains mum!
    You are so right about this statement that few of us know about the program because the government is not forthcoming with relative information. But under what authority do you have access to be one of the few people with the knowledge about how the program works. Did we vote for you?

    • DAPossieMasse
      September 11, 2019

      PARAGRAPH 7: Line 6 “Before we even applied to the Government for approval under the CBI program…”
      PARAGRAPH 7: Line 9 “We applied for CBI approval in 2015 – long after we began operating – and it took an incredible (and in my opinion shameful) 3.5 long years for Government approval which came in February 2019. We have since opened offices in Dubai…” Brrrror why did you write these apparent contradictory statements? Man you guys really believe we are all foolish!
      PARAGRAPH 13: Line 1 “You may question the Government’s motivation for structuring the agreements and escrow accounts in this way, but Dominica’s Real Estate program is, in general terms, no different than St. Kitts or Antigua or Grenada…” All the above mentioned countries have an international airport….. except Dominica.

  44. #watchingyou #remembergeneva
    September 10, 2019

    Gregor hole your $##@@@@. We are not afraid of you! If you try to mess with Lennox we will mess with you. Do you want any negative press for #secretbay? Just be very very careful how you proceed!
    Slavery days are over and we will not bow. You trying your best to keep your bread buttered so in your desperation to keep your butter you trying to attack Lennox but we will not allow it. Be warned we will go all out against you and all your assets, We are large in numbers…..

  45. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 10, 2019

    Gregory, you are nothing more than a bloody waste of time!

    Writing these long useless, senseless episodes about nothing is boring; why don’t you find something constructive to do with your life?

    Your long episodes cannot affect Lennox in any way shape or form.

    Be reminded when you talk crap about “the bad the good and the ugly;” you should have given credit to Clint Eastwood western movie.

    We all saw that move which came out more than fifty years ago.

    We are not in the movies in Dominica, what Lennox talking about is happening in real life, the corruption, the thievery, the victimization are real!

    The millions of dollars Roosevelt gives to foreigners to build so called Hotels are real, the millions he allows them to put into their pockets are real!

    They are not looking for profit from hotels, since they already make their profit from the sale of Dominica passports.

    The missing $1,200,000,000.00 is real boy; get off Lennox back!

  46. Peter
    September 10, 2019

    Thank you, Mr Nassief, for explaining how CBI works.

    I have had the pleasure of living in the Picard area for 18 years and I wish all the CBI projects were as focused on quality (instead of quantity) as you are achieving with Secret Bay.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      September 11, 2019

      Peter, let me tell you something, Gregor does not know what the hell he is talking about!
      First of all we do not have a Citizenship By Investment program in Dominica; what we have is the sale of Dominica passports.

      CBI has nothing to do with the selling of a nations passports.

       Every nation on earth, even the United States indulge in a CBI program, however; no one buys an American Passport. The foreigner applies for the program, they come in and deposit so many millions into a bank; they set up a business which in the interim must employ no less than twenty-five people.

      When that is accomplished, citizenship is granted; even in Ireland where that first began, that is how it works!

      If we had a citizenship by investment program in Dominica everybody who wish to work would have a job!

      People selling passports and stealing the money is not CBI.

      • Peter
        September 12, 2019

        Good morning Francisco

        Sadly I think we will simply have to agree to differ.

        I see the CBI program as a way of kick starting the economy, a way of obtaining capital funds without the need to borrow money, a way of improving the lives of Dominicans. I think of the expression “the end justifies the means” can be applied in a positive way.

        My main sadness is the way CBI has become a political tool, dividing my friends and neighbours… the good people of Dominica.

        I would much prefer all Dominicans to work together for the benefit of the country instead of tearing it apart.

        I will be back on island in 17 days time, a welcome escape from the tribal Brexit war in the UK.

  47. Well Informed
    September 10, 2019

    And Mr. Lennox Linton will continue to find himself tangled up in lawsuits which the UWP supporters will pay for him from their pockets, because of his constant need to play politics….Yes, I know election is around the corner and you’re looking for something juicy to use as part of your campaign but I would advise you Mr. Linton to do your research before going public with information you know nothing about. Instead of running on the radio like a little boy who just received a toy for the first time, with your “yes i catch skerrit”, do your homework, do your research, understand how the CBI program works and save yourself this public embarrassment and humiliation.

    Thanks Mr. Nassief for this very insightful piece. Secret Bay will continue to put our country on the global map and we thank you for your hard work and commitment to our country’s development

    • Joseph John
      September 11, 2019

      For a self style investigative reporter the Hon Lennox Linton, Official elected Leader of the Opposition, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Political Leader of the UWP , Parliamentry Representative for the Marigot Constituency and elected member of the Legislature, the House of Assembly, has no idea what “research” means. Uneducated 5th graders are not taught the dynamics of research at this level.
      It is obvious that he has no clue to the practice of the various roles in his multiple official positions therefore his competence is zero. That makes him unfit for all these official capacity. He is totally confused and therefore reverts to street level politics which is full of libel misbehavior. He has not learnt anything in the last 4 years. In his post retirement years knowledge, judgement, wisdom and common sense is bypassing him. He has not learnt from his mistakes, from getting expelled, fired ,deported, sued, arrested. He destroyed all his credibility. Bad Record.

    • RandyX
      September 11, 2019

      Let’s wait and see who ends up in jail this time. I mean not necessarily in a Dominican one. Certain people are already watching in the US and Europe as well…

  48. LifeandDeath
    September 10, 2019

    Gregor is doing exactly what Lennox pointed out, defending His and the Others Privileged positions of selling off passports as a commodity (albeit National Soverignty) to “investors” where by only a few of the “slected” agents benefit through “development profits”, while the Hotels are owned by Private Developers which are in most cases the agents themselves.
    Well there continues to be something wrong with that picture. It is indeed an elaborate scheme to cheat, because they sell what belongs to the state and they keep the profits as if it were their right and not that of the state and people of Dominica.
    Gregor and the likes will never want this Gov’t to change, as they will have to answer many questions and worse, who is really to take you all seriously now, when you said nothing about those dismal deals made with foreigners. You said nothing because you benefit the most. That is cheating and dishonesty 101.. You all have no more right than any other Dominican to benefit…

  49. Truth Be Told
    September 10, 2019

    Mr. Nassief no one has said that “ec$1.2b could “go missing” in an economy the size of ours”, however, it has gone missing from the sale of passports! That is the question requiring transparency. This is the issue being evaded! Proper accountability of the sale of our passports!

  50. September 10, 2019

    Wow ! let”s see who wear ignorance as their badge of honor. Investors invest their money and others money. The resources of a State belong to THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE. Monies derived from the sale of our passport is Dominica’s money. I cannot sell you a house and give you the money to pay me for that house. it means I am stupid because now I have lost money and also my house. Stop allowing Gregor Nassief to pull this one on us. Notice how he justifies the plundering of the State’ monies because he too has been an active participant in this outrageous act . Go figure this one out, You can call the name Lenox Linton with ad nasueam. Mr Nassief your ad hominen words tells us where your interests are and am sure your esoteric response to Lenox Linton is to confuse those of us who carry our ignorance as our badge of honor.

  51. MAGWA CA
    September 10, 2019

    hold on if i do my maths properly you mean to tell me there was 1.2 billion in real-estate investments made in dca. you mean to tell me that 1.2 billion disappear into real estate in dca ? i blind man WHERE THE MONEY GO NUH? broda there is no way that 1.2 billion was ever invested into dca in real-estate and hotels and so on where is the 1.2 billion worth of investment? even if half was used as development costs thats 610 million still un accounted for ( rough figures just so people see the amount of money we talking about )

  52. REAL!!!!
    September 10, 2019

    Mr. Nassief is only part of the Real Estate option but he is explaining the housing option which he is not involved in. ..That is a Red Flag!!!!

    Who is Gregor calling out really!!!!….. with the huge financial purse provided to him by his father any regular Dominican would be able to gain a return on an investment capital by a multple of 4.

    Note: Your father must have seen significant competence in Lennox to give the huge responsiblity he had at DCP without a degree. Pembo the technical genuine and operational lifeline of DCP did not have a degree.

    This is a personal attacked on Dominicans as I see it not Lennox.

    When MASA is not able to control black people they result to denegrading our brightest once they are not singing MASA is KING.

  53. dissident
    September 10, 2019

    sing for your supper
    why should a private developer get government assets to do private business for himself?
    your best defense is in the “DLP accessible” court
    de court of public opinion will teach you a lesson!
    i have never heard you defend de business sector in Dominica….good riddance.

    we don’t need you to explain de CBI….government have it’s responsibility.
    you and de other spin doctors are not even employed in de CBI unit..de head of de unit moo moo then?
    i have no reason to give you any credit….de ministry of finance has it;s responsibility

    do you know why de case against Linton regarding a coup cannot see de light of day in de court…no hang man?
    Bring your case too….a case in court is not a general election…….what’s keeping DLP?

  54. Manyways
    September 10, 2019

    Dear Gregor,
    You have not mention to us what is the benefits you as the developer will gain in the first 20 years of your operations. I understand base on the information you provide is the investor actual investment is US $200,000.00.

    Investor US$200,000.00 X Exchange Rate XCD$2.7 = XCD$540.000.00
    Government receives US$25000.00 X Exchange Rate XCD$2.7= XCD$67500.00
    This is 12.5% of the Investment, Gregor you said it’s (Minimum) in your explanation.
    1)The question is what is your actual cost before you sell a villa or room to an investor.
    2) What is the recurring cost Monthly or annually to maintain the villa?
    3)Who pays to have the maintenance done and who gains on the profit.
    4) Is there a buy back option buy the developer or is there an option for the investor to sell or lease.
    What I see is developers are using passports as equity to fund their projects.

  55. KID ON THE BLOCK
    September 10, 2019

    Sir no matter how much you explain to this guy and his followers, your efforts are in vain. It’s like taking a pig to a palace it still remains a pig.
    I endorse your action and looking to see the others he accused to follow soon.
    This guy Lennox just don’t get it.

  56. Kubuli truth
    September 10, 2019

    Ask Nassief and Astaphans what happen to Rosie and Pierre Charles when they couldn’t control them,now is d push around from viellecase they using

  57. Kubuli truth
    September 10, 2019

    Tell Nassief stop stealing our land,the space by the public library is not his but Dominica,the space by pebbles park is not his but Dominica,this government doing to much nonsense now,why is truth telling lennox Linton they coming for,where d 1.2 is all we asking.

  58. Child of Itassi
    September 10, 2019

    So Lennox is wrong to question CBI activity but you say (AND I QUOTE):

    “I am 100% in favor of more transparent accountability so the public has a much better understanding of how the industry is structured and how monies are allocated.”

    “…there are unscrupulous agents and developers making a mess of things for everyone else offering what are known as “special deals”, completely undercutting the market and undermining the entire program and the respective Governments are not cracking down.”

    “…the five participating Caribbean CBI countries need to establish uniform regulations and guidelines, inclusive of severe penalties for those developers and agents engaged in unethical and illegal practices.”

  59. Colonizer talking
    September 10, 2019

    Mr. Nassief, you and your family have benefited enough from Dominica. It is our turn. It is poor people turn. Now, you are threatening our champion? You mess with him, you mess with us.

  60. Faceup
    September 10, 2019

    NASSIF SACWAY LABOURITE.💙💙💙

  61. Zandoli
    September 10, 2019

    Gregor,
    I would like to think you are a busy man and so is Lennox. Who has the time to write and read this long diatribe? Not I.

    Surely you can get your point across without trying to compete with the bible on word count.

    • Blessed
      September 11, 2019

      You should read so that you can be educated. also, you can use your critical thinking skills to decide which side is telling the truth and which side is not telling the truth

  62. Gold Teeth
    September 10, 2019

    But mister them are something else you know. What open response foolishness Gregor Nassief talking about there in his so called response to Lennox mou? First of all Gregore Nassief on the date above Linton was live on q95 so he could take calls from all listeners. He did not go on DNO to post any statement because he had nothing to hide. So if you really want to respond do go and hide behind DNO with your long bulletin written in Greek. Also, don’t pre amble by saying “you stated in reference to matters relating to the Range/Kempinski Project“ . Say what he said about Range / Kempinsmi. Was he talking about Range / Kaminski project or the court matter in My where Paola Zampolli is asking for his 5% cut, regarding the sale of passports in reference to the Range/kempinski project? Please be clear or I suggest you come on q95 to make your points clear and answer questions

  63. Ihsan
    September 10, 2019

    Dear Gregor
    Extent!!!!

  64. Get lost Nassief
    September 10, 2019

    “how anyone could really take seriously an allegation that ec$1.2b could “go missing” in an economy the size of ours.” (Nassief)
    This one phrase summarizes the loooong story you wrote. It is the reason, the only reason you are writing to threaten Lennox Linton now. You are doing the work of your master Roosevelt Skerrit. You pretend as though this is about reputation. You and I know that the listeners of the Hot Seat will not affect your business, we are not the people you are catering to.

  65. Q&A
    September 10, 2019

    My Nassief, thank you for your long and winded explanation, and your attempt at taking down the messenger. However, the people of Dominica desire accounting for their passport selling. Now that the cat has been let out of the bag! A simple accounting ledger to show the number of passports sold and a breakdown, of expenditure by a developer, government retention, and amount of money held in escrow, would certainly clear the air on this matter. Is that too much to ask for? I’m sure if the people involved were transparent, they could put this matter to rest, by presenting this information to the public. Our struggle as colored people and culture will continue!

  66. People are not blind
    September 10, 2019

    Those who do not condemn the corruption that is happening are definitely benefiting from it. Say what you like, use as much convolution as you like, but you cannot hide forever and you will be ‘outted’ and you won’t like the consequences, so maybe it’s time to straighten yourself up.

  67. Shaka zulu
    September 10, 2019

    In tbe absence of true transparency and the news of all the great white sharks fighting over passport flesh one is left to wonder, what deals the local reef sharks have in this passport selling schemes. Who is overseeing the CBI director. It cannot be only the PM. I to join Mr. Linton in asking what deals you guys have. There is every reason for those involved in selling passports to defend. None of them is concerned about ensuring that Dominica gets the bulk of the deal and that the dominican people have accountability. They all here defending thier reputation. It it was tranparent you would not have to do this. What you need to be defending is the absolute transparency, accountability, and independent oversight of passport selling schemes. The ministers and ministry dont understand because there is all kinds of explanation from different sources when the only source that should matter is that from government website or data. You guys make me sick. Leave Linton do his job.

  68. Kalinago Justice
    September 10, 2019

    :?: We the people don’t expect massa to say or write anything different! It’s all about self interest and control over the populace! You and your family wants to control every business sector on island! You all are already controlling most of the Bayfront properties in the Capital, so once you can get your share of the passport money, that’s all for you, after all, you’re an arab! :?:

  69. Joseph John
    September 10, 2019

    Sir, you are wasting you time trying to educate Lennox. His 5th grade knowledge of procedure is nil. Remind him that he can do a net search and inform himself of facts.
    My last count was that there was 89 countries in the CBI programme. In the USA there are close to one thousand agents.
    Lennox should be sued for libel and slander. The media people who enable him should be sued for publication in a class action. That is the only option. It is time for civility to prevail. We cannot regress to uncivilized behavior which make Dominica to be stigmatize as an unsafe country. We need to create the profile that will make us respectable in the international arena . Lies are more effective than truth.
    While we are attempting to pull Dominica from the destiny of an undeveloped country people like Lennox want Dominica to be in a permanent state of regression to satisfy his humongous ego. Some criminal libel suits is the only way to reverse this trend towards terrorism.

    • September 12, 2019

      To: John Joseph

      Hello and good morning my people . Can you please explain to us how can Mr Nassief, Mr Raphael and Mr Lawrence qualify for CBI funds. You are defending Mr Nassief like its ok for him to receive millions of dollars from our treasury to build his private hotel. I just spent two weeks home and those Nassief have their hands in every corner of our economy ,ect, hotel, supermarket, building supply,real estate,auto and auto parts. Also did Mr Raphael had insurance for his hotel or is our CBI funds his insurance .

  70. Alas
    September 10, 2019

    Alas Gregor, is true he invited you to unshut your mouth, but this information is way above the intellectual capacity of Lennox Linton….please have some pity on him. All he is capable of doing is telling lies and inciting violence. This man is just too angry at the world!!!!!

  71. Bring back the kidnapped Dominican parrots
    September 10, 2019

    You are part of the cabal, where is the money.

  72. Maybe
    September 10, 2019

    Nasif grow up if you can’t take the heat make yourself invisible you all didn’t learn from Maria you look more hungry than the red clinic

  73. %
    September 10, 2019

    Gregor, Lennox did not only assume that $1.219 billion is missing, but lazy Skerrit said if funds from the housing option were factored into the estimates, it would have been 2.2 billion.. So why blame Linton when the lazy PM Skerrit is virtually agreeing with him?
    This CBI programme lacks everything not least accountability, transparency and probity .
    I commend patriot Linton profusely for questioning a scheme involving sales of our passport, that we have no information of!!
    Well Done Linton!!!
    Whey di money?
    Whey di money?
    Whey di money?

  74. $EC Minister
    September 10, 2019

    The letter is too long so I can’t read it. But I will post a little bible message that is not related to the article but just so that it gets attention.
    Text: Mark 14:66-72
    Topic: When Good Men get caught

    It must had been an embarrassing moment when Simon Peter was exposed three times eh. Yes the man was the top friend of Jesus, who walked with Him every step of the way. But after Jesus was arrested, Simon Peter ran for cover and began to take warmth with his former foes. So first the servant girl exposed him by saying “YOU ARE ONE OF THEM” but Peter said NO, I am not! He moved from where he was to another location but lo and behold another person identified him and said “THIS IS ONE OF THEM”. Again Peter denied he knew Jesus. An hour later everyone in the group said to Peter “SURELY YOU ARE ONE OF THEM”. So Peter got angry and poor brother began to curse and swear and continued to deny he knew Jesus.

    Conclusion: Let’s do good because stealing, killing & Lying are…

  75. i love the nassiefs
    September 10, 2019

    The Almighty is perfectly good

    sin is humanly bad

    greed is destructively ugly

  76. DA TRUMP
    September 10, 2019

    As punishment, he should be mandated to attend and graduate from the Dominica State College in a specified period of time. That would be good for both him and the country.

  77. Lin clown
    September 10, 2019

    This guy LENNOX LINTON just cannot UNDERSTAND.He is too FOOLISH understand.Linton only see things his way.And he is supported by a few uneducated,lazy,lying,idiots.I know this guy very,very well.The only way to deal with LINTON is not to RETREAT and not to SURRENDER.The Prime Minister and EVERY Developer should SUIT LINTON ,indevidually.We the LABOURITES will make sare our Prime Minister go a head with the SUIT.The only way LINTON will learn,is when he punch,you give him a KNOCKOUT.

  78. Amarossa
    September 10, 2019

    Mr. Gregor Nassief…your self described long-windedness does not move me.

    Based on the Official Gazette and the official going rate, money is missing. Uncle WHERE DE MONEY!!!!

    NOUS VLAY LARJAH NOUS!!!!

  79. Alibabar & The Forty Thieves
    September 10, 2019

    That’s nothing more than another distraction tactic and I bet Mr. Linton has not time to waste on this book. Linton has far too many important matters to deal with than reading this book.

    Now, on another note: I read the story of Alibaba and the forty thieves several times but I cannot remember if those thieves or any of those thieves wrote any letter or statement, or anything to prove that they were not involved in the stealing with Alibaba. Can anyone tell me if they ever came across that?

  80. Real Dominican
    September 10, 2019

    Dear Mr. Nassief

    It is hard to beleive your elaborate contrasting views written in this paper. Also, I don’t expext you to say anything less than what your MASTER stated.

    This CBI has been at the heart of local politics for more than two years now. And so a commission of inquiry without the PM interference is needed. I am not talking of about PriceWaterHouse and Coupers ( PWC) because they have had a bad reputation in accounting malconduct in India, Australia, US and other parts of the globe.

    We need a robost and fair analysis of the CBI money. We cannot trust yours – this is conflict of interest.

    Best Regards
    Real Dominican

  81. September 10, 2019

    Another load of crap coming from one of the many economic prostitutes raping and plundering the resources of the country they claim to love. These parasites continue to feed on the flesh of the country while amassing their personal fortunes on the backs of an unsuspecting people at any cost.The welfare of the country and its citizens are of no significance to them. The injuries inflicted on the economic welbeing of our country gets little consideration from these individuals. This dog eat dog mentality is having and will continue to have a detrimental impact on our country and people.

  82. September 10, 2019

    The late Piere Charles once said that Dominicans wear their ignorance as a badge of honor, many were offended. I will say the same thing but with more specificity, the UWP and its supporters wear their ignorance as a badge of honor. Even after this response by Mr. Nassief the UWP and its supporters will still continue to deny the truth. When will the UWP understand that the money invested in projects under the CBI belongs to the developer and not the government. The awarding of Dominican citizenship is just an incentive to encourage the investors to invest. Ever since I can remember there have been calls for foreign investments, well this is it with a huge price tag of sharing our citizenship with the investors.

    • Joseph John
      September 10, 2019

      Anon, here is an opposition leader who is ignorant of his duties. He has the verbal ability to manipulate a few negative activists to drag down our country. Why ? What do they hope to gain with this enemy of state behavior.
      Dominica has no foreign enemy but those locally grown traitors are our worst enemy. They just do not want to see progress for Dominicans. Those uneducated wicked people (uwp) have lost all reason in their desperation to destroy their own country just for kicks, just for their insane amusement.

    • Bob
      September 10, 2019

      No wonder you don’t want to put your name..

    • Truth Be Told
      September 10, 2019

      Anon, you do not seem to understand that the money being invested is our passport sale money. No investor is putting in their own money. This is not foreign investments. This is Dominica passport sale investment! It appears that the commission going to these passport salesmen are much higher than the percentage of the passport sale money being invested in Dominica! That is the question!

    • LifeandDeath
      September 10, 2019

      You can make a sheet with that wool they draw over your eyes dere..smh!!..

      You all fine with a few ppl getting CBI benefits while they put you all in apts like concentration camps..

      No questions on how the DLP able to waste so much money paying cool outs. No questions, just give all you bread and butter and an Idol to worship..Good Grief Man!!

    • jamie
      September 10, 2019

      You are blind,Nassief benefits millions from this cbi scheme,while our poor people suffer,fools like you will open your eyes in due time.God is in control.

    • Ibo france
      September 10, 2019

      Anon, you support Skerrit and his spineless bodyguards come what may. The CBI program lacks transparency plus accountability, no doubt about that. Foreigners who do not have a modicum about the poor living standard of thousands of Dominicans are hauling in many millions of dollars for themselves compliments of the CBI program with the fullest support of the PM. Ordinary Dominicans get little or nothing. How can you justify that? Under Skerrit’s stewardship only his family, his inept ministers and his aristocratic foreign friends are allowed to enjoy the benefits.

    • Michael
      September 10, 2019

      The argument is not about the ownership of the real asset under the real estate option but the failure or refusal of the government to present to the Parliament and people of Dominica a full account of the totality of the proceeds from the Citizenship Programme, including the amounts disbursed to Montreal Management for the construction of houses. Understand the argument.

    • True Politics
      September 10, 2019

      Good job Mr. Nassief.

    • September 11, 2019

      Be careful writer when the former PM Pierre Charles made this statement he was referring to the DLP supporters and members who “stabbing him in the back while reaching out to them”.

  83. RandyX
    September 10, 2019

    Gregor, i wasn’t aware that you have been appointed by Skerrit to audit and ‘explain’ the CBI program to Dominicans but to be honest with you I’m not a little bit surprised that you feel to put put your 2 cents in. You are a major benefactors of the program and as such I did not expect anything else from you. The citizens of DA are NOT interested in your or for that matter Allick or Sam’s explanations or excuses. We want Skerrit to make a statement in this matter and present the citizens with independently audited accounts of the CBI program and since he is at also of the PetroCaribe accounts. It is in your, Allick and Sams interest to keep Skerrit in power but have you considered the impact a change of government would have on your business?? Let me tell you, the very least the new government would want to know from you what share the state of Dominica holds in Secret Bay or was the ‘investment’ given to you for nothing in return???

  84. Thanks
    September 10, 2019

    Mr. Nassief, Thanks for being a true Patriot. You only option is a lawsuit, therefore, your explanation to the Battaley Goats won’t change their LOW MINDS. The radio stations should also be held accountability, because they are helping to spread the fake news. Lenox doesn’t have the capacity to analyze facts from fiction. Just last week, he referred to the Bahamas as our Caribbean people. What do you expect from a high school dropout! If you cannot comprehend simple basic facts, how can you go on the international level! Shame on You DOM listening to such a Con Artist.

    • RandyX
      September 11, 2019

      True patriot…?? Let me tell you, Nassief & Co. and you and your political friends do not even know the meaning of the word. The only thing you all know is the dollar and for that you all would sell your mother!!

    • September 11, 2019

      To: Thanks

      Hello and good evening my people. It’s very simple , Since our funds from the treasury via the CBI program were used to build Mr Nassief, Mr Raphael and Mr Lawrence hotel. Please tell us what percentage of the hotel our government own or were they just given free government money to build their private hotels.

  85. AA
    September 10, 2019

    Clearly Nassief singing for his supper, he is deceitful and very greedy. Here is the facts of the situation:
    – Skeritt and MMCE are selling the passports of DOM under false pretense, they have no authority in the law to sell passports other than the Real estate and EDF options.
    – The monies are not brought into the consolidated accounts or any account under the supervision and review of Dominica.
    – Skeritt have no authority to contract debt that is not approved by the parliament of the country. Skeritt verbally giving the MMCE to construct houses on behalf of DOM is a crime and is illegal

    So Mr. Nassief with your utterances you are condoning the misappropriation of the funds of the people of DOM, is it because you got or you are getting your cut? Do you see nothing wrong in this process of the thieving of the resources of the country?

    In my opinion the PM have broken the laws of the state and should be prosecuted, the persons that issued the passports under this should be…

  86. Class
    September 10, 2019

    Take him to court….He believe he can say what he want when he want an bring down the good name of ppl an Country..

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