60 Minutes spotlights on Caribbean passports for sale

The controversial practice in some Caribbean nations of Citizenship By Investment was in the global spotlight Sunday as CBS’ 60 Minutes put the focus on what it called simply: “Passports for Sale.”

Steve Kroft along with producers Graham Messick and Evie Salomon, interviewed Lennox Linton, a Member of Parliament in Dominica, who talked the option of getting a passport there for as little as US 100,000.

“You don’t even have to come to Dominica to get the citizenship. You pay the money from wherever you are,” Linton stated.

The show’s producers also spoke with international lawyer Sirous Motevassel, a Middle Easterner from Iran who lives in Dubai but travels on a CARICOM passport from St. Kitts and Nevis. The passport allows him entry to more than 100 countries without having to get special permission.
Motevassel reitereated that the St. Kitts passport is available for a real estate investment of $250,000 or a $400,000 and is a legal way to circumvent visa controls that some nations set up.

In St. Kitts, the report said, 40 percent of the government’s revenue came from selling passports.

Apart from Dominica and St. Kitts, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Antigua have also adopted the program as well. Antigua & Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, told 60 Minutes that the revenue from the country’s three-year-old program has kept the government from defaulting on its international loans and has turned the economy around.

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53 Comments

  1. For the love of D/ca
    January 6, 2017

    Given the recent attempt of an agent of the CBI programme to champion the cause of the CBI programme by saying it is open and transparent, substantiating possibly a lack of Governmental sensitising of the populous to be the problem – then what says the following:

    “The enabling condition under which transparency may lead to accountability intertwines with ‘Ambiguity’ of “Open Government”. The lack of an analytical framework on the CBI Programme evinces the ambiguities underlying the charge levelled against the Dominican Authorities on “Open Government” ethics.”

    The distinction of the Dominican Government’s failings re the CBI programme is a conceptual milestone in the field of open government and data and a welcome addition to a CRY for OPEN TRANSPIRANCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, as being the real crock of the matter.

    All a deliberate act by the Dominican Authorities to keep the people in darkness!!!

  2. Watch Dog
    January 4, 2017

    Nothing is wrong with the CBI program, what is unacceptable is the fact that the program lack accountability and transparency. Who are benefiting from the program, are international debts being paid, is the NEP staff being paid with the money.Just like any investment people have a right to know the profitability as its their citizenship at risk of default in years to come. Secondary the dire question really is who are the holders of the Diplomatic Passports….The Gov’t need to thread carefully as the negative ramification can put the Citizenship of Dominica at risk.

  3. Reasoning
    January 4, 2017

    :?: Why is it that it’s Mr.Lennox Linton who’s being attacked :?: Mr.Lennox Linton was only a guest invited by CBS as a member of parliament and leader of the opposition party,scarit and his ….posing as government should have taken the opportunity to go on the program and counterattack the investigation done by CBS. Mr.Linton has no blame to carry,,CBS did their job of proper investigation. I just listened to the so-called press conference by scarit,this man continue to prove himself a !! Those so-called journalist seem naive,passive and don’t have a clue of professionalism ,they couldn’t challenge the prime mistake as to why is it Mr.Linton he’s attacking and not deal with the issues raised by CBS,they instead helped the prime mistake in his misleading lies!!!

  4. Music Producer
    January 4, 2017

    Imma stay in foreign, you understand? this ish is just not finna work for me, son! Allu sick down there – hope allu wake up soon enough.

  5. January 4, 2017

    Do you honestly believe this issue is going to sway the minds of Labourites or change how they vote come next election??? Do you believe that this issue, that we’ve heard about and known about for so long, will stop the DLP from importing thousands of illegal voters from the diaspora? This issue will have no effect in terms of a change of Government. Yes, I admit it is a temporary black eye on the Government but so was the My Dominica Trade House, Alison Madueke, Francesco Corallo and Ng Lap Seng debacles. This administration has been down this road before and knows that no matter how bad things look in the International Community, locally they continue to have the loyalty of thousands that simply care about nothing else but the next hand out! Unless the People “DO” something this talking and debating will not change anything at all!!!!!!

    • Mahaut
      January 4, 2017

      Intelligent comments like this one are not for some of us in Da .Good point but we don’t take warning

    • Barbara Saunders
      January 4, 2017

      Happy New Year All!

      I have kept away from this toxic medium for about three months or more as the comments here made me sick to my stomach every time I read them but I must confess that this issue has forced me back.

      Do you people really think that a Dominican going on sixty minutes viewed by the universe, to assist the programme directors on the basis of flawed information to relegate Dominica’s CBI programme to a mail order arrangement for crooks and criminals is about Labour and UWP? Perhaps you all are right because all Dominicans, whether Labour or UWP will in fact suffer the full consequences, particularly in the imminent Trump era of immigrant paranoia!

      By all means if the programme can be improved it should be improved but for a Dominican to deliberately expose Dominica and other Caribbean islands to international condemnation and ridicule and think nothing about it is just beyond my scope of imagination. Even worse is to have other Dominicans think it is okay!

      • Push ON
        January 5, 2017

        ummmmm your sentences are just toooo long Barbara, makes you sound like a babbling fool!!!

      • Taleah
        January 5, 2017

        Barbara, well said. Let us think “Big Picture”

        I question the real motive behind this imprudent and divisive decision to make this a global disgrace instead of working collaboratively to amend the CBI program. There is no justification for this singular and vicious exploitation. Shamelessly, no critical thinking was exercised with this leader.

      • Anthony P. Ismael
        January 5, 2017

        Here we go again with another educated Dominican, misleading the public with your comments. So you’re blaming Linton for the 60 minutes piece. We live in a world where everything is connected and tracked by computers. Don’t you believe that as some of these crooks are picked up by: The International Police Organization, the’re not tracking the patterns of criminals with citizenship from countries in the Caribbean? Do you believe that the international community is run by simple minded folks Like Tony and Skerrit?
        The Prime Minister could have made himself available, acknowledge past issues and provide concrete evidence to rectify these issues like Antigua’s Prime Minister did. Obviously, we talking about the Dominican way of doing things, so the Labor Liars continue to bray in public, without stemming the bleeding. We do not have leaders in Dominica. We have little boys and girls throwing “Mapwis.”

      • Barbara Saunders
        January 6, 2017

        Anthony P Ismael

        If I understand you to be referring to me as another educated Dominican, I thank you kindly sir!

        The sixty minute programme has been ongoing for years and viewed all over the world within the reach of American TV so I don’t blame Linton or anyone else for the 60 minutes programme. I associated Linton with his contribution to the denigration of his own country in full sight of the whole world when he did not have to. Who else did you wish me to cite? If PM Skerrit was invited to be interviewed and did not oblige, more shame to him for not taking the opportunity to defend the country’s programme. Was he invited?

        I listened to Sam Raphael who indicated that he was interviewed in May 2016 but were his views included? I listened to PM Gaston Browne’s response to a question about due diligence and about six to ten words of his response were brought. You mean that is all Gaston Browne said to CBS on that matter?

        I believe education allows one to think,…

      • Barbara Saunders
        January 6, 2017

        Sure Push On

        Too much effort to read for yourself. It is easier to parrot the rubbish that you hear every day without any analysis or thought. Happy reading!

    • Barbara Saunders
      January 5, 2017

      Dr. Kermit

      The crux of the matter is whether people agree with your analysis or not and clearly thousands of them don’t, or perhaps they also do their analysis of the other side and come up with something worse than what you are seeing, so it is all a matter of perspective and fortunately or unfortunately the protection and support of the Dominica constitution for all citizens on the right to choose, not just for some.

      For example you see a temporary black eye on the government, many others see it as a black eye on Dominica. You see Madueke, Corallo and Lap Seng as debacles when the facts are put forward, what is actually the story with these people? Unfortunate associations which were addressed or jumping to unfounded conclusions about the associations? Perspective again, analysis and information hence your obvious frustration.

      Another of your problems might be the constant denigration of people with a different perspective! Hand outs for all? Really sir?

  6. ras ray of the congo
    January 4, 2017

    Did Lennox say something that was or is being done and was or is not being done.?
    Need answers

  7. January 4, 2017

    What’s done in dark , light will reveal if .

  8. Ed Lewis
    January 4, 2017

    If you have money you could do the same thing in the US.

  9. January 3, 2017

    That CIB needs cleaning, so Dominicans could really benefit, and not just the few vultures

  10. d-a born
    January 3, 2017

    Clearly a political move by Linton but he wasn’t lying. I’ve said time and time again that this passport business is dangerous to Dominica’s reputation. It’s not like the US and other major countries haven’t been watching, the terrorist thing is no joke. Are they gonna wait until it gets super ugly for Dominicans to travel? It’s corrupt as well because the gov’t is selling these passports with no sort of transparency or accountability. Where is all the money going to? Where was the PM to speak on a program that his administration is conducting?

    • Be Good
      January 5, 2017

      get a life what you talking about the US sells passport too the same US check every one Dominica sells passport to

  11. Your Choice
    January 3, 2017

    Apart from all those other Caribbean islands that selling passports, none of the opposition parties came and speak against it like Linton did. It is not 100% right, but it has it’s benefits and it is really helping the economy of Dominica. In that interview, they already brand Dominica as the corrupt one in the citizenship program. What’s Linton’s plan, increase taxes?? What really is Linton’s economic growth plan for Dominica???

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      January 5, 2017

      Skerrit should have acknowledge these issues and show them how he is addressing them. Didn’t you see that the highlighted corrupt individuals in Antigua’s program, but also showed the security firms in the United States, Canada and London who assist them with vetting these individuals? Whomever is advising Skerrit should ask 60 Minutes to come back and do a follow up interview. These so called Dominicans are so ignorant, that’s it’s simply incredible to listen to this garbage on DNO.

  12. Daryl Joseph
    January 3, 2017

    Happy new year to DNO and your staff members all the best in 2017.
    Unless the island concentrate on growth and less political issues things will always stay the same.
    New year should be new focus

  13. Concern citizen
    January 3, 2017

    well stop looking for you all selves and start looking for D/ca now
    La vole Labour
    las metee defe an kaye mon an tan Noel la arsonist ke zot yee

  14. January 3, 2017

    The USA and Canada both have economic residence program, that is for their own interest. So what is wrong with other countries having similar programs to raise finance. We talk of terrorism, Canada imposed visas on Dominica because of its program, but both Canada and the US are taking in tens of thousands refugees from terrorists hotspots in the middle East.

    • Barbara Saunders
      January 5, 2017

      Ma
      Thanks for thinking and not parroting everything you hear! Our banana industry was killed by pressure from American interests to force the EU to lift preferences in keeping with world trade rules. Our coconut oil was not good. There was a whole movement against coconut oil for American soya and other Vegetable oils to sell. Now coconut oil is the best thing on earth.

      Of course there are risks in the CBI programme as there are in everything that is done in the world. I agree with you that refugees from these terrorist hot spots pose a thousand times more direct threat than a person who is subjected to rigorous screening and procedures before grant of citizenship. Should Europe and America stop helping humanity because of that? Have they stopped?

      Remember some years ago Antigua took a case against America to one of the international bodies for unfair practices against it. Dominica was blacklisted under UWP for them trying something to improve the economy! Now this!

  15. streets
    January 3, 2017

    just sell the island already.not like any of them give a damn about us .doesnt m atter who sell it our bank account still the same .who cares. make weed legal let us eat too.

  16. UWP Suporter
    January 3, 2017

    I am a UWP supporter but LENOX LINTON is an ……….. Politics should play absolutely no part when it comes to white racist people trying to bring down your country.

    • ti nom
      January 3, 2017

      RACIST PEOPLE? then why all you dont go to Bahrain and Nigeria instead of Uncle Sam nuh? :lol: :) :-D

    • Concern citizen
      January 3, 2017

      Stop degrading us by saying that U are uwp, if u were a uwp u would be able to see the reason why want fear play in this tiny Isle of ours,
      Don’t u see that these abusers are just enriching them selves and trying to impoverish the nation, for their own good
      the Country has already BRING down, according to U, so come out straight and say who U are man!

    • jonathan st jean
      January 3, 2017

      You are a moron,why do you bring up race in this matter? you can’t be serious.The US doesn’t care about bringing down Dominica,the US cares about the security of it’s people,and sees this passport selling program as a gaping hole in the security apparatus of the US and it’s allies.You need to understand international issues before you write nonsense about race.Come on man

    • Shameless
      January 3, 2017

      Sorry imposter but UWP supporters are fully aware of what Lennox said and is trying to do. Unlike you, UWP Imposter, its NOT Lennox or UWP supporters alone that are complaining about this deceitful program that is putting millions in the pockets of unscrupulous people but rather all Dominicans who has some degree of morality in their being. So STOP pretending you are a UWP supporter and show your true colors if you are proud of it. :twisted: I am Dominican FIRST, are you? :twisted: :twisted:

      More Assertive in 2017! :twisted:

    • January 4, 2017

      There is no other way to describe the action and statement of Linton than economic terrorism .

  17. jonathan st jean
    January 3, 2017

    An article on DNO dated April 15th 2016 said that the US government has warned the leaders of the Caribbean about the passport selling program.Now on January 1st 2017 CBS has warned the world that this passport selling program is undermining the security aperatus of the world.The opposition in Dominica has been warning Skerritt about a lack of transparency and accountability for this passport production factory and yet instead of seeking to mend their ways continue to attack Lennox Linton as if he doesn’t want Dominica to develop, which is not true at all.The question remains that of the $5000 million made from passport selling,with Dominica claiming that it is in the lead,how come so little is being reported by Skerritt as the amount we earned from this activity.The US will not warn anymore and with the international community will put a strangle hold on this passport production factory which is endangering their countries.Who is giving Dominica bad name,I ask.

    • January 3, 2017

      Is the UWP, going to stop the program if elected to office? Read the official gazette and then you can talk about transparency or lack thereof. Let America strangle us you sell out. America is looking after its own interest but people like you are working overtime to bring us back to the dark days of slavery and imperialist domination. I am not a fan of the sale of passports but wether we continue this program, it should remain a domestic issue.

  18. ti nom
    January 3, 2017

    What really makes me feel bad is this CBS program SPECIFICALLY targets D.A as selling our passports to criminals.
    I have to agree with Linton here, this passport program is killing Dominica`s reputation. It will continually get harder for dominicans to travel overseas. So many honest hard working Domincans will lose out on opportunities because of this. You know in most countries citizenship is considered the highest honour and not given away for money (most of which goes directly to the government and not its people anyways). A short term financial gain could never justify this;
    THIS IS SHAMEFUL, and MUST STOP A.S.A.P

    • jonathan st jean
      January 3, 2017

      The CBS program did not target Dominica as selling passports to criminals and crooked people,it mentioned St.Kitts as well.It also tried to show that the way these programs are managed in a lax way,leaves opportunities for terrorists to penetrate the security apparatus of the world

    • Just Passing Through
      January 3, 2017

      Not sure if you listened to the same 60 Minutes program the rest of us listened to, because it was not the 60 minutes reporter I heard SPECIFICALLY targeted Dominica as selling our passports to criminals. Look at the program again. Now who could that be?

    • January 4, 2017

      you a truly a tinom, it seams clear that if your head is opened there is no brain to be affected.

  19. ??
    January 3, 2017

    Lennox has been trying to destroy Dominica in order to get at Mr. Skeritt for years. Well, he took it up a notch and decided to widen that net to include the CBI programs throughout the Caribbean. Does he think before he opens his mouth? Who is advising Lennox? Does he know where to draw the line between patriotism and politics. What a shame… I find it strange that he was the only politician throughout the Caribbean who maligned the economic citizenship programs of his country.

  20. January 3, 2017

    We all got to Eat, Do as they say mot as they do. Analyze that. Opinion Expressed is solely that of the writer.

  21. %
    January 3, 2017

    Honourable Linton was on that CBS 60minutes programme, the quintessential example of truthfulness…We were reiterating transparency and accountability adnauseam,,they never listened…Some out there never listened…Skerrit had a GOLDEN opportunity to defend the programme.Did he went to hide in a similar manner that he did when he had to take the test flight to mark night landing at Melvillehall???..Our CBI
    programme is terrible…Where the money is going??How many Diplomatic passports have been sold?I am particularly concerned about THAT. THANK YOU LENNOX.One thing I know is that the international community is listening to Q95,because they already knew that the CBIprogramme does not trickle down to the poor.

    • Just Passing Through
      January 3, 2017

      % reminds of an abusive spouse or parent who after the abuse says to the victim you see what you made me do to you? What a shame.

      When we travel and all subject to intense unnecessary interrogation we will all say THANK YOU. Yeah right!!

    • eyes wide shut
      January 3, 2017

      the gulf war was promoted by CBS wmd’s was promoted by CBS, they all have their agenda. the Americans will always attack the competition, ,

  22. Vaffanculo_PM
    January 3, 2017

    Lennox Linton was on 60 minutes talking about Dominican passports, instead of the Govt responding with better accountability and transparency he was branded a traitor and all over social media being attacked by labourites, mark my words Dominica, Lennox Linton will be right in 2017 and event is going to happen with our passport sales that will bring down the DLP government. Remember this post on Jan 3rd 2017, i told you so, when you run from the truth it always comes back to haunt you, u fellas in Govt will never learn, it happened with the garbage bin bobol but this time it will have a global effect on Dominica and u will have no one to blame but yourself, skerrit u need to humble yourself.

    • Sigh!!!
      January 3, 2017

      Hypocrites…. Pretending like you all have amnesia. Which party started the passport sales before Labor came into Power???? LABOR Party just continuing. The opposition is just pisssed that they are not in power to pocket the profits. We the poor is not benefiting, politics and politrics, Everyone looking out for themselves.

      • Radio Cord Kapi
        January 3, 2017

        Sigh! After reading your comment I had to take a deep sigh! Firstly, get your facts right. You tried to insinuate that passport sales began under the UWP….Fact Check….it began under the DFP. Now under the UWP, DLP complained exposing the falls of the program, then, the party won, came in, didnt fix the errors they it complained about and now passport selling is the mainstay of Dominica’s economy….a shacky business to anchor a country’s economy on to say the least.

      • %
        January 3, 2017

        Stop evading questions..Does this fetid sale of our passport has transparency and accountability??If it has,well put your butt on a programme to answer to us.

      • Sayitsnotso
        January 3, 2017

        Was Lennox in power during that period; this was not started by the UWP. It was started under the freedom party but with more accountability and dicretion; checks and balances were in place. They were required to contribute to the financial prosperity of the country. And even if UWP did it that does not make it right. You are running from the fact that this is an issue. Don’t kill the messager; you guys need to stop defending what is obviously shady and unconstitutional. Thing is population is not even benefitting from this economic citizenship.

      • Love
        January 3, 2017

        So you agree somebody profiting. You people are sick!!!! How is it possible that you can agree to this kind of nonsense. When something which is not our own end up on our doorstep, that’s when all you will be satisfied? Do you all not believe in soverigmity?? This is unbelievable.

      • jonathan st jean
        January 3, 2017

        Your myopic reasoning as to who started the sale of passports does not do anyone any good.It will not address the concerns which the US Homeland security department head expressed as to the gaping hole in the security of the world.Be wise and remove your head from the sand of time past.Urge your party to strengthen the program so there can be benefits accruing for the distant future.The sad thing also is since it’s a Carricom passport,those countries which don’t yet have a passport selling program will suffer hardship xarricom

      • jonathan st jean
        January 3, 2017

        Your myopic reasoning as to who started the sale of passports does not do anyone any good.It will not address the concerns which the US Homeland security department head expressed as to the gaping hole in the security of the world.Be wise and remove your head from the sand of time past.Urge your party to strengthen the program so there can be benefits accruing for the distant future.The sad thing also is since it’s a Carricom passport,those countries which don’t yet have a passport selling program will suffer hardship .Just so you know the passport selling program was started under the Freedom party government and there was not this level of corruption.In addition the under the table sale of diplomatic passports to nefarious characters like those mentioned in the CBS program is glaring corruption and mismanagement of our heritage

      • @Sigh!!! January 3, 2017

        I will always remember when one of those News Media ask Linton about the involvement of the UWP pertaining to that same Subject, his answer was: “I am not sure; I have to check”. That interview was just over a year ago. Why would Lennox not know about the CBIP being run by the UWP, when they did.

        That answer alone is enough to convince me that there is not much truth in Lennox, and what is his motive for what he is doing.

        I really do not think that Lennox cares about the Welfare of Dominica, as he goes on his quest for Fame and Power –But God is paying attention and He has the Sole Authority; and I am sure that He forbids being defeated by man’s evil scheme–that can never happen.

      • Baoui Woman
        January 3, 2017

        Imbecile. If it’s possible, please take a moment and put politics out of your mind. Stop spewing stupidity. Try thinking for yourself, try nalyzing situations, circumstances and repercussions. Yes, it is indeed a continuation. However, whats questionable is who are the vast majority of the individuals purchasing the passports and which region of they world are they from. Also, is the money benefitting the island and it’s people. If it is indeed true for what is reported in Antigua/Barbuda then great! That’s an example of how the money should benefit the country and people.

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