Transparency International urges EU to review visa agreement with Caribbean CBI countries

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment programs (CBI) are coming under more fire with the global anti-corruption organization, Transparency International, urging European Union (EU) to review its visa-free agreements with a number of Caribbean jurisdictions, including Dominica, which operates such programs.

In a joint report with Global Witness called “European Getaway: Inside the Murky World of Golden Visas,” Transparency International said recent events have “raise red flags regarding the due diligence process in some of these countries.”

According to the report, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia “offer a fast-track route to citizenship, with a significantly low investment requirement and an extremely fast processing time.”

Dominica is among 61 countries worldwide which are not part of the EU but whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the EU’s Schengen Zone.

Transparency International laid out some of its concerns in the matter.

“In March 2018, Saint Lucia canceled the citizenship of six recently successful applicants, alleging that they had committed acts that had the potential to harm the country’s reputation,” the report stated. “In June 2017, Canada canceled visa-free travel for citizens of Antigua and Barbuda over fears that its lack of residency requirement for applicants posed a risk. Canada had made a similar move against Saint Kitts and Nevis back in 2014 due to security concerns. A year earlier, the US Department of the Treasury Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory stating that the Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment programme was being used to facilitate financial crime. According to FinCEN, the program is attractive to illicit actors for its lax controls regarding who may be granted citizenship. FinCEN has yet to lift its advisory.”

The organization said in its report that the opacity of Caribbean programs compounds the risks.

“Caribbean countries publish limited information about due diligence checks carried out during the application process,” the report stated. “There is also limited information regarding the number of applications received and rejected. None of the countries publish the names of individuals granted citizenship, thus preventing public scrutiny. As the programs become a fundamental part of the economy in these countries, there may be a greater desire to attract more applicants and consequently more funds, increasing competition in such a way that it produces a race to the bottom. Weak due diligence processes and lax control can result in security and reputational risks not only to the countries running these programs, but also to all countries and regions with which they have visa-free agreements, including the European Union.”

Based on that Transparency International said that the EU must review its visa-free argument with the Caribbean countries.

“In light of the risks of admitting the corrupt and the criminal, the European Union must review its visa-free agreements with these Caribbean jurisdictions and encourage governments to set high due diligence and integrity standards,” the report said. “Ultimately, if the EU is not confident in the ability of these schemes to identify and reject high-risk applicants, it should consider following Canada’s lead by suspending the visa waiver to golden visa schemes outside the EU.”

Recently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) flagged 21 countries, including Dominica and a number of Caribbean countries operating citizenship schemes saying that they potentially pose a high-risk to the integrity of the OECD/G20 Common Reporting Standards.

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21 Comments

  1. Charles Doguloes
    October 26, 2018

    OMG it will be a shame if EU cancel visa free access a d bad name all over the workd..PM wake up please u can fool every one not ever time. Atleast strict rules of due deligence. I also heard fhaf EU had already decided to Cancal visa free access for CBI.Also now experience personaly while travelling that most of the border control check our passports many times and asking weried question like Did u buy this passport bla bla

  2. viewsexpressed
    October 26, 2018

    There is no Transparency in Domininca as regards the sale of our Passports to all Tim, Dick and Harriette. This appears to be a one man band show, running and hoping all over the world on a site seeing venture to sell our birth right seemingly to some nefarious un known people who wish to run away from the own homes and appears to want to be safe in our nature isle. That is now the principle income of Dominica`s revenue. Our people no longer are encouraged to go into farming, agriculture, Crafts work, tourism music industry etc. The Supremo appears lazy to be thoughtful and inspired to see the bigger picture to engage Dominica`s talent. This is a fast food operative done by someone who appears politically obsessed and ignorant of the term meaningful investment and development. This is why this political clown must go. He has and continues to hurt and damaged our Nature Isle.
    With Eighteen ministers and advisors surrounding him, they themselves appear powerless to open their big…

  3. Yes i
    October 25, 2018

    Boy skerrit needs to go simple.. Dominica needs to breathe again. Country needs new leadership and put things in proper perspective for all Dominicans..If this guy get another five years God knows what may happen.We can’t just sell out our country like hot bread..This country is rich but all is see its being taken away from us slowly but surely.

  4. EU citizen
    October 25, 2018

    Guadeloupe and Martinique are EU !

    • viewsexpressed
      October 26, 2018

      Get Rid of this failed PM Skerrit. He must Go, he has to Go, We want him to Go. Skerrit is a failure, he has nothing to show any considerable, qualitative development in Domininca.
      this man is a waste of time. Dominicans wait up.

    • Anonomous
      October 26, 2018

      What is that supposed to mean? Do they give free access to Dominicans? If not, why not?

    • Me
      October 28, 2018

      Do they know that?

  5. From my Heart to yours
    October 25, 2018

    Is it worth it Pm? Better yet why is St. Vincent not selling passports and yet they more advance than us? How come they have an international airport and we have to be circling around so much to get to Dominica and yet, they don’t sell passports and never on the blacklist? If we claim to be a Good serving people why don’t we use the natural resources God has blessed us with like water, fresh fruits and vegetables, provisions, , weed, fish to earn a living, instead of putting our country in this mess? We are the worse improved island in the Caribbean yet we are so blessed with natural resources. I love the PM but honestly speaking I don’t like where we are and where we heading. Imagine what would become of us when we no longer can sell passports, especially with us losing our banana industry, Ross University and everything we grew up depending on for our livelihood. In as much as I love Skerrit I must say he has destroyed our country and we badly need a change of direction

    • viewsexpressed
      October 26, 2018

      From My Heart to Yours, Thanks so much for this well thought out response. I like it, precise, to the point and touching. Skerrit listens to no one of professionalism and experience in socio-economic development. He is a weird operator, who sleeps on the left side and wakes up on the wrong side of life. Skerrit is extremely limited in thought, planning, foresight and political intelligence. He is a spontaneous operator just to create fame and publicity with his script written to him by some nefarious friends or so called advisors. This is the man our taxes pay, and we are not getting value for money. He should be fired ASAP. He only occupies this position of PM but is fed and baby sit and cradled by a bunch of blind people and so called advisors to be deemed opportunists. They want something, for example the Roseau Cetral constituency. If you are broke and not interested in Domininca`s development, jump the Professionals` Ship and hop on the corrupt Bobol Skerrit Ship,sail you anywhere

    • October 26, 2018

      Too many Dominicans are lacking backbone. Any time the white man says to jump our only response is how high sir? These countries that have these quasi groups making all these pronouncemts and judgements are looking after their own self-interest, they are protecting potential tax revenues from going offshore. Every time we get threatened by the powerful countries we get scared and blame ourselves for doing wrong. What type of free people do we claim to be when we are so willing surcom to blackmail to satisfy the interest of foreign powers. Dominica has a right like any other country to look after itself, and if we have to sell banana, stones or passports to achieve that end it should not be a problem. Many support the US and its allies as the kill thousands of innocent people in an attempt to maintain control on the world supply of oil. Let us start looking out for our interest and stop acting as if we are still slaves on a plantation owned by modern day slave masters

      • Neville
        October 27, 2018

        I beg you please do make your statement in front of the UN: Dominica has a right to look after itself. Great, also tell that your PM to stop begging all over the globe because as of today Dominica can look after itself and doesn’t need the international community anymore. Skerrit can sell 10,000 passports a month and that should be enough to be self sufficient. Of course he won’t have time to do due diligence checks who they are sold too. Man, you red baboons most certainly live on a different planet!

      • October 27, 2018

        @ Neville, if you have not observed the rules that the influencial countries like the US, UK Germany and others set for themselves are not the same rules that sh*t hole countries like ours are forced to play by . We are forced to pass financial laws that that only benefit the rich countries, if we object we are threatened with sanctions. I guess people like you would be rejoicing if the US would drop a bomb on Dominica for selling passports.

      • Your sister brother
        October 28, 2018

        Is not Skerrit and Nanthan selling passports then. I did not know they are white men. Must be very good disguise.

      • viewsexpressed
        October 28, 2018

        Paul T says……., “Let us start looking out for our interest and stop acting as if we are still slaves on a plantation owned by modern day slave masters”.
        I concur fully and the only way to achieve this is to kick out this current immature, incompetent clueless Labour government, led by the biggest Prime Minister failure in Domininca and the Caribbean, and that is Skerrit. A very big disappointment and he has his cronies as we see them and hear live on radio talking a whole lot of rubbish, condoning the politically illiteracy of Skerrit and his corrupt government.
        So again to reiterate: “Let us start looking out for our interest and stop acting as if we are still slaves on a plantation owned by modern day slave masters, living under a very incompetent, immature, failed Skerrit and his worthless Labour government of 18 failed ministers.
        They must All go, they have failed us Big Time. Dominicans please wake up

  6. Let's Be Real
    October 25, 2018

    Our head hard and if we can’t hear we sure will feel. I cannot understand how Skerrit has done so much destruction to Dominica and we still have the man in power. Guys let’s be real and think a little. When Skerrit became PM in 2004, he met two very strong financial bringing tools to Dominica and the man meticulously destroyed both of them 1. The Banana industry 2. Ross University. In fact he last time Dominica exported a box of bananas to the UK was almost 4 years ago, while all other islands in the Windward still have their market. Why he killed them is not difficult to understand because the man wants to sell our passports, where he and a very few of his friend know how many passports sold, how much received. So he is the means of every cent that come in and all those got affected by the loss of the banana industry and Ross University could come and bow their knees in worship to him. That’s not too far fetch people. So now we all poor, all have needs so we have to vote for him

    • viewsexpressed
      October 28, 2018

      Lets be Real, We feel your pain, you are so right to say: “Our head hard and if we can’t hear we sure will feel. I cannot understand how Skerrit has done so much destruction to Dominica and we still have the man in power.” Our poor vulnerable people i particular have been feeling that pain now for over 15 years, in to the 18th years and it has gotten worse. These clown and his corrupt labour Government are all over trying to do something, thigs that has and continue to hut us more. Skerrit is a big joker in the pack and his 18 boom flies ministers are there like moo moos cared to say anything positive, but do so quietly at Skerrit’s back. The last one who joined this political failed bandits, a Joseph guy knows exactly why he has jumped the reputable UWP. Desperate measures make people take desperate actions and often fall in the wrong company. That’s where that Joseph guy and other people are today, rubbing shoulders with a very failed inept Skerrit. Bin, Fertilizer Bobol,…

  7. %
    October 25, 2018

    In Dominica we have the laziest most inept and incompetent PM,that has the entire country dependent just on passport sales.The IMF has warned those MISLEADERS ad nauseum about the fragility of the programme but to no avail.Lazy Skerrit says it’s the only game in town.
    A wicked regime that keeps destroying the country because of their greediness and “cannot do” attitude..Good Dominicans must discard this DLP regime.. It’s a total failure
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

    • Viewsexpressed
      October 28, 2018

      Amen…I second..third….forth this motion that this failed Skerrit must go. Pack up and pleaw se go….you and your blind followers have failed us. You are a very poor inexperienced leader and you have mot been a champion of our cause byt seemingly to you close asdociates and blind loyalists.
      Skeerit must go. You have been a waste of time with ststws rexources where performance has benn nad and achievement null.
      Get lost….go mind and take your funky business elsewhere.

      • Liz M
        October 28, 2018

        If you all will not do CBI where how do you raise funds to boost the economy, sell Dowasco like you sold Domlec when you went broke ? You just want to be the ones running the money you heard coming in right? You will have to win an election pal.

      • RandyX
        October 29, 2018

        Liz M, get your facts right since when has the double doctor used CBI money to boost the economy. The CBI money is only used to boost the bank accounts of the double doctor and his friends. Exactly the same happened to the $100 million that had to be written of by the government of Dominica. Stop fooling yourself lady!

  8. Jonathan Y St Jean
    October 25, 2018

    So I guess the ratings on CBI which Skerritt likes to boast about doesn’t mean …. in the larger skim of things. Because when action is taken then Dominicans who hold Dominican passports will have a more difficult time when traveling all because the country will have a bad name under the stewardship of Skerritt. Following the CBS 60 minutes program we we’re warned that the security apparatus of the US and it’s allies was being weakened. Didn’t you expect that actions to mitigate the threats would be taken? Yet since that time more crooks holding Dominican passports have emerged and God knows how many more are out there. Well look it.

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