The Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program in Antigua is under serious pressure and that because there is a scandal involving wanted Indian billionaire, Mehul Choksi.
According to news coming from of India, Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, both diamond tycoons, are alleged to have colluded with two employees of the Punjab National Bank in an over US$1.8-billion fraud scheme.
The businessman is now wanted for alleged fraud in India.
On Tuesday, the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) in Antigua confirmed that Choksi was granted citizenship in November of 2017.
The new scandal has raised many questions about CBI programs in the region and prominent political analysts like Peter Wickham has weighed in on the matter.
He said the scandal involving Indian billionaire Choksi is not good news for Antigua or the CBI.
“For a long time there have been concerns raised with the C.I.P there and in many other countries that offer the program,” he said.
The regional pollster added is not the “thing” anyone wants to happen
Antigua’s Citizenship Investment Union said on Monday that Choksi’s application was subject to robust due diligence international investigation by reputable agencies.
But according to Wickham an individual could have conducted acts before and after citizenship has been granted that were not within the radar of diligence.
Meantime the Antigua and Barbuda cabinet said on Thursday that the citizen of Antigua and Barbuda has not been charged with any crime, neither has any request been made of the Antigua and Barbuda Government for any action to be taken against Choski.
However, the Cabinet has decided that should any request be made by the Indian government, every effort within the law will be made to honour a legitimate request.
Antigua and Barbuda and India do not have an extradition agreement.