Gov’t unaware of Monfared’s troubles before 2016 – Baron

Monfared is an ex-diplomat of Dominica

Foreign Minister, Francine Baron, has said that the Government of Dominica was unaware that ex-Dominican diplomat and Iranian national, Ali Reza Ziba Halat Monfared was in legal hot water before January 2016.

She was responding to questions posed by Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton in Parliament on Tuesday.

“Madam Speaker, the Government of Dominica was not aware on or before January 2016 that Mr. Monfared was a person of interest to law enforcement authorities in Iran,” she stated.

During the sitting of the House, Linton wanted to know how the government became aware that Monfared was a person of interest to the authorities in Iran on or before January, 20, 2015.

In response, Baron noted that in or about January 2016 the government became aware “informally” of a dispute between Monfared and a business partner in Malaysia “which resulted in complaints being made against him to the police.”

“It was decided then that in the circumstances, it would not be in the best interest of Dominica that he continues to represent our interest,” she said.

Monfared was arrested after an international manhunt in the Dominican Republic on allegations of being involved in Iran’s biggest-ever corruption scandal.

He was issued a Dominican diplomatic passport in March 2015. He was involved in the controversial mydominicatradehouse.com website and was described as a friend of Dominica and was passionate about the island. The website claimed that My Dominica Trade House, was a company that was based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with three local companies in Dominica. These companies, the site said, provided limousine taxi services, aqua prawn farming facility and energy solution that they said were completely based on green energy. The website is no longer active.

His diplomatic passport was revoked in January 2016.

Controversy over Monfared deepened when photos surfaced of him hosting lavish gatherings for numerous Dominican officials in Malaysia.

Reports indicate that Monfared had various passports and had managed to escape extradition at least once when he was briefly detained in Malaysia.

After he was arrested, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dominica said due diligence was followed in granting Monfared a diplomatic passport.

The matter concerning Monfared was one in a series of embarrassing situations where appointed diplomats of Dominica found themselves in hot water with the law and which shone the international spotlight on Dominica. Others include Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng and former Nigerian minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

In the fallout, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in an address to the nation, expressed regret over events pertaining to some people who were appointed diplomats of Dominica and revealed that a new policy will guide the government in appointing diplomats in the future.

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

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59 Comments

  1. Tjebe fort
    May 25, 2017

    Boy, be careful who you are cutting a cake with to celebrate because you may end up behind bars. Roosevelt Skerrit cutting cake with Ng Lap Seng and mr. Lap Seng arrested and being charged inNew York. Mr. Monfared cutting cake with Emmanuel Nanrthan and mr. Monfared arrested and in jail now in Tehran.
    Me, I keeping my distance and let them have their cake all by themselves.

  2. truthman
    May 25, 2017

    I love that song ” stand by your man “

  3. just me
    May 25, 2017

    lies and more lies , it is clear to see that these politicians don’t care ,they lie blatantly and publicly,this is beyond shameful.

  4. yeah
    May 25, 2017

    Monfared (left) with Dominica’s CBI Unit Emmanuel Nathan (right) while Senior Counsel Alick Lawrence looks on and Dr Darroux Hiding at the back of Monfared. ha ha ha

  5. Malgraysa
    May 25, 2017

    Oil tankers, operating out of Singapore have been on the Dominica registers at least since 2013. Hon. Baron may profess ignorance of any sanctions busting activities they may have been engaged in, or the people behind such an operation and their motives. The least she can be accused of is naivety and suffering from the ostrich syndrome.

    • UK Dominican
      May 26, 2017

      Ms. Baron should explain to us why Singapore has full diplomatic relations with the Republic of Singapore, which are taken care of by our Embassy in China. Please, don’t treat us all like fools, there are Dominicans that are very well informed.

  6. Damas Victor
    May 25, 2017

    A more appropriate name should now be ‘The Dominica lying Party’, given all that which has come to light and all the new faces of the untruths. Behold the the fancy attire of the passport boys in the portrait above _ eat your heart UWPees!

  7. RastarMarn
    May 25, 2017

    A picture speaks a thousand words:

    So Mano and Alick is in this picture cutting a cake celebrating what???

    How Did Mano become Ambassador for the CBI program, and how did Alick Lawrence get to be the involve from his Private Counsel Chair to be involve in the administration of something that should be in the Public Purse???

    How is Mano involved with the CBI program and who is paying for their trips around the world representing Dominica???

    In the US you cannot even buy a brand new car for twenty thousand dollars cash without the officials addressing you for an account and money trail,,,

    These are the real questions a real journalist would be asking and reporting to the inhabitants of Dominica,,,

  8. NLABOUR
    May 24, 2017

    Dominica is no longer a country. Please donate to science!

    • Soucou
      May 25, 2017

      that one take me…omg lol

  9. Pioneer
    May 24, 2017

    The government is a reflection of the people. I used to believe that the people were just suckers, but I realize that people are in love with the money and the sewo. There is a great amount of greed, lust, and idolatry in Dominica. And as long as people can get their own, the country can go to hell in a hand basket.

    We always get the leaders that we deserve. Silence is prostituting our country.

  10. Mwen Meme
    May 24, 2017

    It is funny that in Dominica before one applies for a job, ministers know who they voted for, whom their family supporting, and all this polarizing garbage before issuing a job; but could choose a diplomat without thorough investigation. I thought the same Francine said that the gov’t employed a rigorous due diligence process in in CBI program; sometime in the past. Well, perhaps, Monfared was too dollars-blinging to have undergone such scrutiny..as the saying goes. money talks, bs walks.

  11. do worry
    May 24, 2017

    I am ashame of my People ca believe they so easily Brain Washed by thier corrupted Goverment.

  12. Jonathan St jean
    May 24, 2017

    The government has to speak the truth and it is they didn’t care about the reputation of Monfared.If Skerritt had practised good governance,as his predesessors did and which is the right thing to do,he would have been made aware,but he likes the shadows and the dark and to keep the citizens in darkness with regards to his moves and actions so he just didn’t care.However the old saying that ignorance of the law is no excuse applies here.We will not accept this lame excuse by Skerritt and his supporters.

  13. JOSH SHAW
    May 24, 2017

    Francine you to lie. you keep forgetting you all dlp god roosvelt told us that u all checked and doubled checked his background.

  14. May 24, 2017

    When you are fooled by a fool you become a FOOLISH FOOL; this DLP administration came into office by deception and lies; rules by deception and lies and will self destruct and leave office by their own deception and lies.

  15. An Exile
    May 24, 2017

    In the fallout, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in an address to the nation, expressed regret over events pertaining to some people who were appointed diplomats of Dominica and revealed that a new policy will guide the government in appointing diplomats in the future.
    Give us a break

    • concern citizen
      May 25, 2017

      U and SKERRIT lying so much and even believing UR. lies to be true, Proverbs 15:3 tells us the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the EVIL and the GOOD
      Ple ta ple twist, who laugh last laugh the best

  16. Mr. Jedi
    May 24, 2017

    Do the journalist at DNO consider asking questions such as:
    – Therefore, what were the outcomes of the security checks on this individual before he was issued a diplomatic passport?
    – Are we still utilizing the same company to do these security checks?

    • Me
      May 24, 2017

      These are questions you should ask your Minister Hon. Francine Baron. As far as I know DNO are not engaged in investigative journalism but report actual happenings, as they find them.

  17. Zandoli Claywat
    May 24, 2017

    What has happened to Dominicans. Many of these Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, supporters of the DLP are in church every Sunday, some even preaching and these people support corruption they turn a blind eye to wrong doings, the very things that the WORD of God condems. This is HYPOCRISY to the highest order and very insulting to believers in GOD, i am ashamed. Dominicans it is better to be on the side of right even if you are unpopular than to be on the side of MAN.

    • chocolata
      May 24, 2017

      please understand – that even the Devil has to worship. There will be great church praise and worship down in hell. But i won’t be attending. One person who loves to preach scripture – tell me that he don’t support the Government but still votes for them. Of course i tell him he is a hypocrite. The bible he claims to know don’t resunate in his action. Many many hypocrites

    • Am not Loubiere's Johnson another D/can in T&T
      May 24, 2017

      Bc they are greedy vowass and have no pride. These are earth worms Mr .Jedi,Zandoli etc.
      These creatures are already dead they are now zombies just going thru survival motion.
      That’s the effect of extreme poverty in their youth so they want as much as is available or not to them.
      These guys are so empty.
      Some are crystal faillays with all kind of medical conditions. There is one his back is so bad and he still want young girls.I wonder how he making out when the back give up on him in bed with a concubine ? he often cannot move for days so instead of going home he lies telling the wife he had to run out quickly with the P.M pal sec any excuse. All the time a doctor will secretely go by the concubine pad to give him a pain injection.
      Take a guess . suppose to be alawyer/lier but he turn business man lol look joke in this here d/ca

  18. May 24, 2017

    Who are you all trying to fool? Fool only the illiterates who agree to follow the gov’t like mouton “bataly.”

  19. Tj
    May 24, 2017

    Sometimes it is. Better o say that I goofed. Mr P. M. Simple say that Mr.that Mr. Monafared is a good for nothing

  20. GiveMeLoveOrGiveMeDeath
    May 24, 2017

    There are other screening list that the government should have paid for these a really expensive but worth it.. The world-check screening list is what most Organization uses and nobody ask if Monfared was on this.smh.

    Lennox need to ask educated stuff and not stuff to raise propaganda. Ask them:

    What screening List do they use during due diligence? e.g Word-Check etc.

    Did Monfared name show up on the World-Check Listing?

    Did Monfared Country of Residence appear on this listing?

    What is the procedure if an applicant name appear as a terrorist financier?

    What his the procedure if the applicant is from a UN sanction country? e.g Iran, North Korea

    Do you use WORLD-CHECK screening list to query applicants before issue ?

    What Risk Management company is employed as part of CBI ?

    What is this company due diligence processes?

    Lennox you need to come prepared for these things..stupz

    Ask educated questions so people can get the truth not stuff you ask and they…

    • concern citizen
      May 25, 2017

      Dear GiveMeLoveOrGiveMeDeath,
      Why, don’t U go on the stage when they are having Public meetings and EXPRESS those opinion?

      • LoveOrDeath
        May 30, 2017

        Cuz it\’s not my Job. I am not the opposition. He is never prepared to ask these things; hence, the government always spitting in his face.

        Why can\’t he ask this things? they sound educated enough.

  21. freshwaterlake
    May 24, 2017

    Sure. they that know everybody business.

  22. LifeandDeath
    May 24, 2017

    This is the type of Ministers Dominicans have in Parliament..Men and Women who would lie to the population and the world, only to save face while Dominica continues to be dragged through the mud..
    Just ask them questions and wait for them to soil up the place with lies and distractions..

  23. I Miss Angello
    May 24, 2017

    “Madam Speaker, the Government of Dominica was not aware on or before January 2016 that Mr. Monfared was a person of interest to law enforcement authorities in Iran,” she stated.

    It is hard to convince me or anyone that the government of Dominica did not know Monfared was a wanted man before January 2016? First, lets go back to an article from DNO on June 2015, and we will notice the PM NEVER EVER mentioned the person by name, as if to suggest that he knew there was something fishy about him: https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/general/controversy-rages-over-my-dominica-trade-house/

    2. Ms. Baron, before I got my US Green card 25 years ago, the US, as part of knowing about me requested a police record from me just to make sure I had not committed any crime or was not a person of interest to the police. Are you telling me that before you gave Monfared his regular passport you did not contact Iran to see if Monfared was of interest? That’s scary to world security

    • love or die
      May 24, 2017

      You really believe if the Government of Iran was running an investigation on UN sanctions against Monfared they would tell a country that what to make him an Ambassador??? that\’s a laugh..

      All u Dominicans don\’t understand this dude was under investigation by the UN..cuz he was selling oil or opium and all kinda stuff to UN Sanction countries..

      This is not the kinda thing Governments share unless you have been held and charged. There are other ways due diligence could have been done and it didn\’t need the Gorvernment of Iran

      With a billion dollars trust me getting a clean police record ..lol..in Iran is child play for a man like that..
      The opposition did a bad job of getting the truth or pointing people towards it.

      They just asking the same questions an Skeritt and them getting better at answering them..I don\’t think they were prepared and their questions all are based on believing them…

      Lets get the evidence…

      • Anonymous
        May 25, 2017

        In Dominica you can get a clean record for even less, trust me.

  24. Dominican passports
    May 24, 2017

    That they like we… Nice things cut de fancy cake in your expensive suit Skerrit & Friends… Dominicans will suffer for it

  25. papa
    May 24, 2017

    Lier leir pants on fire

  26. Prolific
    May 24, 2017

    He was a wanted person all over the world and Dominica was good enough to capture him for the world. That count for something or a huge reward. Well done Dominica government

  27. Shaka Zulu
    May 24, 2017

    These folks can spin this how they want. If it was Monfared alone I would understand, however it is a bunch of other folks. These people have money and shady records and paid handsomely for diplomatic passports to have a means to escape law. The money they offered was too good to pass up. Greed and desperation will drive most people to do stupid things especially men with no values like our leaders. Iran should try to retrieve all funds let me see how many crabs would run in thier holes and hide.

  28. SN
    May 24, 2017

    The government was aware he was wanted, yet he was in Dominica just before his arrest. Why then was allowed in and then allowed to leave the island with the passport, which was said to be cancelled (yet pics show it wasn’t, but later doctored to show it was)? Is this not a case of government aiding a fugitive?

  29. mamzel
    May 24, 2017

    as to the question and your answer Francine about the names of the Diplomats whose passport was revoked and you gave a most stupid answer that Linton did not ask specifically about Monfered. he asked for the names of Diplomats. a exam teacher ask her student to name or give a list of certain things – the students don’t go back to the teacher and say well i did not give that name or thing because you did not ask specifically for it. You are so stupid and expect right thinking people to believe you foolish answer

  30. mamzel
    May 24, 2017

    so Government – heard rumours from a business man about Monfered – did not contact or get information from the government of Iran, to revoke the diplomatic passport? Francine keep on talking the truth shall set you free and too the lies will embarass you

  31. Laplaine Observer
    May 24, 2017

    This is a bunch of misinformation by Ms Baron. How can you issue a diplomatic passport without initiating the proper vetting procedure? This twisted and untruthful explanation holds no credence with the Dominican people.

  32. %
    May 24, 2017

    Go gather your fools at Lagon and tell them your balderdash.Dont insult other Dominicans.
    SKERRIT MUST GO!
    SKERRIT MUST GO!
    SKERRIT MUST GO NOW!
    Is K.Darroux the one behind MONFARED?
    GANG OF EVIL MEN AND WOMEN!

  33. Anomymous
    May 24, 2017

    If Francine’s claim is genuine all I can say is that our intelligence service is crap. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Blackmoore

  34. Strong
    May 24, 2017

    Minister of foriegn affairs, you are saying, government did not know? That’s a foolish excuse, not to know, it’s a clear indication that due diligence was not done. Stop giving foolish answers to the questions ask. You are really in the right ministry: foriegn foriegn affairs.

  35. truth
    May 24, 2017

    The government just keep on lying

  36. Anthony P. Ismael
    May 24, 2017

    Apparently, the term diplomat means that he held a “Dominican Diplomatic Passport at some point.” I thought we “Never” sold Diplomatic Passports. It’s very funny to read the Foreign Minister’s responses in Parliament, to something that the government stated never existed. I’m wondering whether or not I am in the Twilight Zone with Skerrit, Francine and others? Who knows at this point? Up is now down and down is up. Everything with this government is upside down it seems. I’m sure it’s the same deal with the former Nigerian Oil Minister. Francine moo-moo when faced with the truth.

  37. done&done
    May 24, 2017

    Monstered wants to return to Dominica, cause he’s got some millions somewhere on de Eye-lan.

  38. May 24, 2017

    It can take days…weeks..months…years…but the truth about all that “bobol” must come out…..”Truth” is like oil….doh matter how you try to touffay it — it shows up…..

  39. Ready Freddy
    May 24, 2017

    Before giving a person citizenship in your country, one have to inquire everything about that person, even calling their country for more information. Do like the United States, inquire about everything.

    • The Don
      May 24, 2017

      We also need to upgrade some of our resources to collect information. Our technology is not advanced enough to undertake proper vetting procedures

      • Jaycees
        May 24, 2017

        nonsense.

        Special Branch have the equipment, don’t be fooled for an instant.

  40. Nan
    May 24, 2017

    It would have been better if Francine Baron kept quiet. She is making excuses/trying to cover their mistakes.

    Surely checks should have been carried out, especially on a so called ‘diplomat’, before granting him any perks or special conditions?

  41. MON FAR RED
    May 24, 2017

    Another thing – when was Monfared arrested again? What country passport or passports did he have?
    How long was he in Dominica?

  42. derp
    May 24, 2017

    “After he was arrested, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dominica said due diligence was followed in granting Monfared a diplomatic passport.”

    Replace due diligence with “enough money”

  43. MON FAR RED
    May 24, 2017

    Eh? Well dese people have good guts!!

    DNO please republish the pics so we can refresh our memories. Thanks.

  44. sighs
    May 24, 2017

    This does not make an ounce of sense. If you all had done due diligence would it not have made known to you all that Mr. Monfared was a wanted person in Iran? #justasking

    • GiveMeLoveOrGiveMeDeath
      May 24, 2017

      Did they say he was wanted in Iran? or did they say he was a person of interest before he was arrested?

      You can do all your due diligence you want when FBI or this kinda agency investigating you a selected few that just have that access to this.

      There are other screening list that the government should have paid for these a really expensive but worth it.. The world-check screening list is what most Organization uses and nobody ask if Monfared was on this.smh.

      Lennox Linton need to ask better question..stupz..mister don\’t represent me in that house good enough. Lennox ask educated stuff and not stuff to raise propaganda. Ask them:

      What screening List do they use during due diligence? e.g Word-Check etc.

      Did Monfared name show up on the World-Check Listing?

      Did Monfared Country of Residence appear on this listing?

      What is the procedure if an applicant name appear as a terrorist financier?

      What happens if the applicant is from a UN sanction…

      • sighs
        May 24, 2017

        My dear Francine just sugar coated her statement. He is a wanted person in Iran. If you google “Alireza Zibahalat Monfared”, you will see that he is called the “corruption fugitive”; and there was nothing wrong with what Lennox asked. If it was not for people like him and Angelo, I’d never know about Monfared and the likes of him. Yes there are many other things that he can do to help his community but with him being shut down at every turn, it will be hard. He’s trying. I’m not a ‘politics’ person but so far he has helped us in getting answers for things we never knew was happening underneath our nose. Time the government start being honest with its people. Remember a picture tells a 1000 words.

      • Just Me
        May 24, 2017

        That question was well calculated. How many diplomatic passports were cancelled between period A and B? Very simple; very specific. Is either none was cancelled or some were.

        Mrs. Francine Baron-Royer cannot hide from that! She was cornered and tried to hide behind “specific”. That sounds like an educated question to me.

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