St Lucia: Six lose economic citizenship

Nestor Alfred.

The St Lucia Gazette has featured the names of six individuals who have lost their St Lucian citizenship under the Citizenship by Investment programme (CIP).

The names of the six individuals – Hamid Sakhidad Barahooei, Sanioura Ali El Sayed, Mariya Barahooei, Taliya Barahooei, Shamel Alabboush and Emad Ahmed Mohsen Alzari – were published on page 65 of the 26 March 2018 edition of the St Lucia Gazette.

According to the Gazette, an official government document, “this Order may be cited as the Citizenship by Investment (Revocation) Order, 2018” and was made on 19 March 2018.

The individuals had their citizenships revoked because, according to the Gazette, they committed acts which may bring St Lucia into disrepute.

Nestor Alfred, who was appointed CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit in 2017, had revealed at a press conference in February  2018 that 259 persons had been granted citizenship and a passport under the CIP.

Alfred also said only a small number of persons were rejected or had their citizenship revoked.

“I don’t have the numbers off my head, but it’s not many. Not many. So it would appear to be quite lucky, in that, the number of applicants that we have gotten are not money launderers, terrorists, financiers,” he said.

“Because the conclusion we [are] getting from our partners, I would say those persons are cleared. So there are not many of those denials. So far, since I have been here, four, yes, we have revoked the citizenship.’

The opposition has criticised the government’s CIP programme, but Alfred said St Lucia’s CIP vetting process is rigorous.

“Firstly, when one applies for citizenship in this country, we go through a meticulous process of ensuring that the application is in compliance with our policies and our procedures.

“Secondly, we hire third party due diligence firms and they can be anywhere in the world. We work with the English due diligence firms, Americans or Canadians. And those persons go out as foot soldiers and go and establish who those people are, where do they live, who do they hang out with, who are their associates, where are these companies, are there any bad press on their companies, are there any bad press on their children, their spouse. That information is accumulated and is sent to us.”

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