Due diligence followed in Monfared matter Foreign Ministry says

Monfared (left) with Dominica’s CBI Unit Emmanuel Nathan (right) while Senior Counsel Alick Lawrence looks on in Malaysia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said due diligence was followed in granting citizenship and diplomatic status to Iranian national Ali Reza Ziba Halat Monfared who was arrested on allegations of being involved in his country biggest-ever corruption scandal.

Monfared was reportedly arrested in the Dominican Republic and extradited to Iran through Havana and Moscow to face trial.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sought to clarify Monfared’s status saying in a statement that he became a citizen of Dominica, and eventually a diplomat, following a comprehensive due diligence investigation.

“In 2014 Ali Reza Ziba Halat Monfared, an Iranian businessman resident in Malaysia, became a citizen of Dominica under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBIP),” the statement said. “Prior to becoming a citizen a comprehensive due diligence investigation was conducted in 2014 in respect of him by an internationally recognised U.S. due diligence firm as required by the relevant regulations. Mr. Monfared’s due diligence report showed no areas of concern in any jurisdiction or country including Iran, and he passed all other security checks. Additionally, the report found no pending legal or other matters against him anywhere.”

The statement went on to say that Mr. Monfared, at the time,” was found to be a respected businessman with substantial business ties in Malaysia and Southeast Asia and demonstrated a great desire to be of assistance in promoting Dominica and sourcing business and investment opportunities on behalf of Dominica in that part of the world.”

“To facilitate his engagement, Mr. Monfared was appointed with Ambassadorial rank,” the statement said. “A diplomatic passport was issued to him on March 13th, 2015. Mr. Monfared’s diplomatic passport was recalled and cancelled and all official ties with him were severed effective January 20, 2016, upon receiving information that he may be a person of interest to authorities. While we were somewhat concerned about this development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains convinced that all procedures were duly followed and proper due diligence conducted before he was granted citizenship, and clearance given for his appointment.”

The statement also said the government has over the years, as part of its Foreign Policy “extended its program to include partnerships with both nationals and non-nationals who are willing and able to assist, support and serve Dominica in a number of areas.”

It said the Ministry continues to pursue the 2015 directive of the Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and the Cabinet of Dominica, in completing a comprehensive and independent review of the procedures of appointment of diplomatic and consular post and the terms and conditions of such appointment.

“A Consultant has since been engaged to review and advise on best practices and an appropriate policy for adoption by Cabinet,” the statement noted. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects to receive the consultancy report by June 2017 at the end of the exercise. The Government of Dominica will continue its vigilance in these matters and takes this opportunity to express gratitude to all who have and continue to serve Dominica in its development objective.”

See full statement below.

Download (PDF, 221KB)

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60 Comments

  1. freedom fighter
    January 30, 2017

    Monfared have all that money an he not building no hotel in Dominica? Or was he the builder of range hotel?

  2. Embarassing
    January 28, 2017

    This is the last straw. Resignation and investigation of all involved including the attorney.

  3. nut smat boyz
    January 27, 2017

    Hey DNO, un-chain my comment, PLEASE!!!! DIDN’T CALL NOBODY NAME, EH!

  4. zandoli
    January 26, 2017

    So in other words, it was not the fault of the government. happen, right?

    You guys need to come better than that.

  5. January 26, 2017

    due diligence my foot . when senator francine baron was as quetion in the parliarment on the passports matter she refuse to give an answer

  6. Donavan
    January 26, 2017

    But wait….no press… conf…. yet????……

  7. Truth Be Told
    January 26, 2017

    Arrest them all – Captain (Prime Minister) down to cook (crook)!

  8. nut smat boyz
    January 26, 2017

    Some folks are drinking Champaign and Ice wine, while the majority of people in Dominica are sucking “SALT.” It’s time go in peace, labor! Don’t wait for President “Prompt” to take you out. :twisted:

  9. Gone against
    January 26, 2017

    Had Mr Linton not expose them on CBS, nothing would have been said about this fishy practice by the government.
    Mr Linton must not give up unless the Government make public the list of the passport holders, the cost per passport, not forgetting the agents and those who allegedly travelled long distances to hand over passport n do the transaction.
    Freedom of information act… Domincans have a right to know.
    Publish the information in the news papers and on the government website.
    Time for a commission of enquiry into this passport drama.
    Due diligence is to publish the names n the list of those who do passport business on behalf of Dominica.
    May God bless our nation

  10. Real!!!!!
    January 26, 2017

    Foreign Minister after the bad press with My Dominica Trade House in June 2015- Sept 2015 because we only stubble on it by accident with all the pictures including PM ,GOVT ministers and lawyers. The PM and his GOVT never told Dominicans…..
    The PM defended MDTH with all his venom although the materials used for promotion of Dominica was full of propaganda.
    Then the PM found out in January 2016 that this gentleman is of concerned to INTL market and a fugitive of Iran with a request for extradition,

    Why did PM then not publicly disassociate himself, his GOVT minister and Dominica with
    Mr. Monfared/MDTH after cancellation of Diplomatic passport.

    It took us 12 months later to find out and he knew 12 months ago this man was a fugitive. Why the secret ? The same way he came out and defend MDTH he had 12months to say Mr. Monfared and MTDH has nothing to do with Dominica and we have cut all ties with him but Skerrit decided against it.

    And the questions is WHY!!!!!

  11. January 26, 2017

    I showed the two passports to a colleague today at work and we laughed, looking at the two passports, the one which was released by Mr Astaphan brand new and there are many discrepancies with the canceled passport, this Astaphan guy need to know that there are Dominican not residing in Dominica reading and listening to his verbal diarrhea and lies, this guy will fool some but not all, and I say to him big brother is listening and watching, he will not be able to fool Scotland Yard, RCMP, FBI etc, just a matter of time Mr Astaphan

    • The Truth Be Told (Original)
      January 26, 2017

      Do you think Scotland Yard cares?
      Scotland Yard did not help Dominica in those days when someone had set Eric Shillingford and George James on fire during carnival which also killed Eddie Martin who was with them. RIP!
      Inspector Slater from B/dos was sent for and then Scotland Yard.
      How constructive were these people in catching the perpetrator(s)? The word was out and spread that Dominicans, at least some, knew who were involved.
      One would think that Scotland Yard would have conducted a thorough investigation and caught the perpetrator(s). There was a Court hearing. To this day no one was caught. Of course, the perpetrators are now dead, gone to their eternal judgment.
      Tell Scotland Yard to remain where they are. Dominica does not need them.

  12. Shaka Zulu
    January 26, 2017

    Is there a Dominican Judge, or prosecutor who can order an interogation of this man to find out who in Dominica may have received undisclosed money on behalf of the Country, bribed, are involved in any scheme. If he is arrested by Iran for corruption everything he has done is corrupted and having Dominican Diplomatic status was only to escape arm of law. Nothing else. MDTH was nothing but lies. Why are these guys getting away with that crap.

    • Shameless
      January 26, 2017

      I would highly suggest that the opposition gets with the UN, CIA or MI 5 and ask if they could negotiate with the Swedish Government to send a Swiss Investigator as an independent person to interrogate this crook thoroughly for future actions. I would highly recommend former Senior Police Officers Philsbert Alfred, Gabriel St.Jean, Duke Sevarin and UN Police Lieutenant Bernard “Robo” Robinson be appointed as independent observers during such interrogation appointed by the UN. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

      Assertive and very pissed off! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    • %
      January 26, 2017

      The Iranian authorities can help!This is vital,really vital.

    • The Truth Be Told (Original)
      January 26, 2017

      The man is now in Iran. As the proverb: “Let sleeping dogs lie.” Live well alone and carry-on with your business..

  13. LifeandDeath
    January 26, 2017

    Bunch of Liars scrambling to cover up that stench..Anytime it sounds too good to be true, it probably is just that..”too good to be true”..

    time to lay the heavy hammer down on all of allu..not serving Dominica’s best interest at all..then turn around and blame the opposition..SMDH in shame and deserved contempt!!!

  14. International Ranking of Dominica Passports
    January 26, 2017

    There are now a series of social media jokes about our passports, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Linton. Here are some.

    1) A new wristwatch is on the market. It is called the Dominica CBI watch. It is a unique watch as it is the first in the world to have a back hand.

    2) What is the difference between a Dominican diplomat and a bucket of manure? Answer – the bucket.

    3) Why are Dominica passports prized by crooks? They know that owning one makes their competitors think that they are in the world’s top 1% of badasses.

    4) ISIS has taken to buying and giving Dominica passports to its enemies as gifts. Why? Because they know that the passports are in the world’s top 10 of passports thought to be fake by border controls.

    5) Why do scientists now use Dominica CBI agents as experimental subjects instead of rats? Answer: there are some things that rats will refuse to do.
    6) What is the difference between the flu and a diplomatic Dominica passport? Not everyone gets flu.

    • LifeandDeath
      January 26, 2017

      Hey, these are resoundingly funny..but why thx to Mr. Linton?..Is this Sarcasm..

    • Wosh
      January 26, 2017

      Hahaha….love it especially #4. My sister was stopped and questioned in Brussels this year with her Dominica passport.

      • Kincaid Mawish, JD
        January 27, 2017

        You are lucky if she was just stopped.

        My friend’s wife suffered an enhanced interrogation and two internal examinations just for presenting a Dominican passport in the Netherlands (she is Croatian).

        It seems that as she does not speak a word of English, border control thought the Dominican passport was fake and went full steam ahead to unleash hell upon the poor women.

        The fact that she is very attractive I guess was a motivator for the internals she suffered I guess. She is still undergoing therapy I hear.

        Linton and Gabriel must stop thes hate campaign NOW!

      • Dominicans are Horrible
        January 27, 2017

        Is this how we treat our fellow citizens who are in trouble and need our help? By deserting them???

        Monfared endeavoured in good faith to help Dominica get much-needed investors into our country. He has not been convicted of any crime and as such is INNOCENT until proven guilty.

        Instead, by joining the herd of idiots and haters by condemning this honourable man, NOT one of you reprobates are doing anything to help him. In fact, as soon as he got into trouble, his diplomatic passport and any offer of help was denied him by our cowardly leader.

        This is a total and absolute disgrace and consigns our country and Dominicans at large to the annals of assholes of the world.

    • jonathan st jean
      January 26, 2017

      Why do youblane Mr Linton for the rest of the world knowing about Dominica’s passports.CBS did their background check and verified their information about Dominica’s passport shenanigans.The prime Minister of Antigua was also on the program.You on the other hand believe that it’s only what Mr Linton had to say in 30 seconds that resonates with the rest of the listening public because you are in Skerrit’s camp.Don’t worry the department of Homeland security is not smiling not making jokes.Tell that to Skerritt and his henchmen

    • %
      January 26, 2017

      The Iranian authorities can help!This is vital,really vital.

    • The Truth Be Told (Original)
      January 26, 2017

      Linton did Dominica an injustice by being on 60 Minutes and criticizing the CBI Program. This is also how much he detests the PM. Anything to pounce on the PM and debase him.
      Linton made Dominica and the CBI Program a laughingstock. This also includes nationals, some of whom are his supporters and himself.
      Now he is creating more trouble. One day Linton will reap what he sows and two-fold. What goes around comes around two-fold. Linton’s day is coming.

    • Jon Jones
      January 27, 2017

      What kind of troll are you?. You could at least use another photo when you change account names

  15. January 26, 2017

    There is something fundamentally wrong with this statement put out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and i refer to Page 2 the last paragraph; the question i have for that Ministry and Minister is why would a consultant be engaged ”to review and advise on best practices” when all along you have boasted that your due diligence and practices were solid and sound proof the best there was to offfer?

    • Shameless
      January 26, 2017

      Hmmmmmmmmm……those eyes and mind are still very sharp Old Daddy. This government is sickening and they MUST GO like yesterday!

      Assertive and pissed right now! :twisted: :twisted:

  16. Kincaid Mawish
    January 26, 2017

    Dr. Skerrit should intervene in this nonsense. There are no records anywhere, apart from a fuzzy photoshopped image of the gentleman’s alleged passport, that indicates that he was ever a Dominican citizen and had diplomatic rank.

    It concerns me gravely that the gentleman is being maligned in this way by even members of Dr. Skerrit’s administration.

    Whoever is behind this, kindly stop as you are wrecking the island’s CBI program.

    • jonathan st jean
      January 26, 2017

      I’m sure you know that the issuance and or sale of diplomatic passports is a separate matter from the CBI program.And why do you say that the gentleman is being maligned.For crying out loud he has been arrested and extradited.He will have his day in court to prove his innocence.I wish him well and I’m waiting to see how Dominica is helped in this secretive, underhand diplomatic game

  17. D.H.P
    January 26, 2017

    So he became a citizen by investment, what exactly did he invest in in Dominica? Why wasnt the public informed of this before he arrested? Mr. P.m and your advisors, now will be a good time to start informing the Dominican public about everyone u have sold passports to, including those whose passports were revoked.

    Secondly, didnt my dear p.m said that under no circumstance is our diplomatic passports being sold to foreigners?

  18. January 26, 2017

    The way I see it, if he is a Dominican citizen then Tony can go and defend him In Iran.

    • only time will tell
      January 26, 2017

      LOL LOL you think mr tony don’t know his place only in Dominica and now and then in Antigua you hear tony mouth his not the fool some DOM-IN-CANS only time will tell

    • Eyes wide Shut
      January 26, 2017

      Good point

  19. Anon Again
    January 26, 2017

    I guess it was the same level of due diligence done on the former Nigerian minister

    • Anonymous
      January 27, 2017

      Yeah, yeah and Francesco Corallo of course! Tony must think we are all dummies.

  20. President Donald Trump
    January 26, 2017

    I will have to sign an EXECUTIVE ORDER to get to the buttom of that :!: :mrgreen: :!:
    the use of nuclear weapons are authorizes “EXECUTE ORDER 66 ”
    :roll: :arrow: :roll: :!:

  21. Tick Tock Tick Tock
    January 26, 2017

    Why is the SUV of the Guy parked at the home of the head of Citizenship by improvement unit in Bourne. Please Tony tell me something. Since you have all the infor

    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2017

      Now the question is did that Dominican citizen from Iran acquire that vehicle duty free. After all ambassadors are entitled to pay not tax, icnluding vat or road tax even. have a look and see if there is a road tax ticket inside the window.

      • %
        January 26, 2017

        Boy this country is something else.

  22. Jack man
    January 26, 2017

    A a….so they now reviewing all d ppl dey give our passport? Isnt that part of wat Lennox was asking for???

  23. derp
    January 26, 2017

    the press release came out real fast eh, why wasn’t it published before when his passport was cancelled explaining to the public, why the secrecy…

    • Tjebe fort
      January 26, 2017

      Carcon, I am fuming, like conomonou these fellows treating the citizens of Dominica that put them where they are. They did not even tell us that Iranian was made an Ambassador. I am asking you, an Ambassador of what, oil exports? that government has no respect for its own people, is too big for their own boots and must go. It is non-sustainable.

  24. Tick Tock Tick Tock
    January 26, 2017

    So according to the press release the Government knew that the mans country had interest in him he was wanted why didnt you all turn him in. Why was he allowed to leave in Dominica till sometime in September, and they knew he was wanted. Why were they seen going to his place etc etc when they knew he was wanted by his country. What kind of Government is this Tony the new press Attache’ tell me something.

  25. Vaffanculo_PM
    January 26, 2017

    Thank you Francine I am emailing this to CBS and sent a copy to @realDonaldTrump and the new Homeland security head General Kelly, I am doing it because i love Dominica and u people have no respect for the Dominican people, u all tell lies and getting paid with taxpayers money, u may fool Dominicans but let me see u FOOL DONALD TRUMP. :mrgreen:

    • The Truth Be Told (Original)
      January 26, 2017

      Are you another traitor to your country? :twisted: :mrgreen: :twisted: :mrgreen: :twisted: :mrgreen:

  26. Not a herd follower
    January 26, 2017

    The due diligence of the Government of Dominica is a BIG joke.

  27. YESAH
    January 26, 2017

    Yea Whatever. Did you guy take back his residence permit while he was living in Dominica months after you revoked his passport? Was he there illegally while he make his move to hide.

    SMDH

    • Me
      January 26, 2017

      He also has an ordinary Dominican passport, which gives him the right to live here and vote even. He first purchased that passport under the CBI programme. his diplomatic passport came later, during mr. Skerrit’s visit to Malaysia.

      • YESAH
        January 26, 2017

        Ah I see.. So they did not see it fit to revoke ALL his passports from Dominica? Even when they found out he was a wanted international criminal, PM Skerro and Tony and Francine still did not see the need to cancel the ordinary one as well?
        What a darn mess. What a darn joke.

      • Anonymous
        January 26, 2017

        It says in the CBI advertising that once you buy Dominican citizenship from the government it is for life, so they can not revoke that. If they were able to do that nobody would buy our passport. Imagine, one day you pay your money, get your passport and the next week they revoke it. If that was possible nobody in their right mind would spend their money on it..

  28. Dominican
    January 26, 2017

    A colossal cover up! If you had enough concerns to cancel the man’s diplomatic passport in January of 2016, only ten months after his appointment why was he still living here by Sept. of that year. according to the min. statement govt. was told that he may be a person of interest to authorities. This so vague and could mean anything. What interest and which authorities to prompt you to annul his appointment. He was appointed as an Ambassador no less, to which country? Which due diligence agency prepared that report for you. Tony Astaphan said that it was Bishops of the U.S.A. but I’m sorry, I do not believe that and I’m sure someone will verify that with them because they have a reputation to uphold.
    The way I’m reading it he was also given an ordinary Dominican passport and his citizenship can not be revoked according to the CBI and now we have the prospect of a Dominican citizen being prosecuted in Iran , possible for his life.

  29. Tick Tock Tick Tock
    January 26, 2017

    Well Tony tell me something so if what you and the Government is saying is true why is it that when the opposition asked for the information of the Passports those revoked and those who have the minister of foreign affairs refuses to give the information. As a lawyer don’t you find that fishy.

  30. January 26, 2017

    If so many crooks and criminals are passing these security checks, then the due diligence is poor.
    I doubt any due diligence are done, because the passport agents get paid according to how many passports they sell, so I doubt they gonna say no to money and I believe they are turning a blind eye

    • Me
      January 26, 2017

      You must understand that the P.M. has the prerogative to override any due diligence advice and grant a passport nonetheless. The final decision is his alone.

  31. 101
    January 26, 2017

    Your story is so contradicting and just not making any sense at all. When did the Iranian man committed the crime? how long since he’s been searched for? and you want to talk about due diligence, what all you think? all you think all you dealing with a bunch of fools like we cannot read and write. Come again. The internet is there for every body.

  32. 2sense
    January 26, 2017

    Jonathan S.R. Brown has a diplomatic passport # 450, do we have 400 plus diplomats?

    • Malatete
      January 26, 2017

      the answer must be yes. Look at the following time line:

      passport no. 0000426, issued 13 March 2015 to Alireza Monfared
      passport no. 0000445, issued 21 May 2015 to Alison Madueke
      passport no. 0000450. issued 4 June 2015 to Jonathan Brown

      Therefore min. 25 diplomatic passports( incl. the above) were issued in a space of 12 weeks between between 13 March- & 4 June 2015, an average of just over 2/week.

  33. 2sense
    January 26, 2017

    who is the consultant that was appointed? what are the terms and conditions of the consultancy?

    • Toto
      January 27, 2017

      I bet it is Gary because he is good at defending wrongdoing with fancy words.

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