Antigua questions legislation before US House of Representatives on Citizenship by Investment

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, today wrote members of two Committees in the US House of Representatives, questioning an Act directed at Citizenship by Investment Programmes.

On March 3rd, three Representatives introduced the “No Travel for Traffickers Act” designed to penalise countries that operate citizenship by investment programmes, including by revoking their eligibility for U.S. Visa Waivers and by working on the United Kingdom and the European Union to eliminate visa-free travel in the Schengen area.

Antigua and Barbuda is one of several Caribbean countries and others in Europe and North America that operate Citizenship by Investment programmes which play a significant role in their government’s earnings and in their gross domestic product.

In his letter to the members of the House of Representatives Committees on the Judiciary and Foreign Relations, Ambassador Sanders said that the Antigua and Barbuda Government “fully agrees that measures should be taken against any country whose government abuses its citizenship and residential programmes, such as the US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, to allow criminal activity of any kind”.

He explained that it is because “ Antigua and Barbuda strongly opposes the abuse of citizenship and investor programmes” that he thought ir appropriate to clarify that the Antigua and Barbuda programme “ensures no abuse by criminals, no opportunity for human trafficking, and no tolerance for any person who may pose a threat to our neighbours, such as the US, or to the global community, or ourselves”.

The Act was introduced to the US House of Representatives by Congressmen Burgess Owen (Utah), Steve Cohen (Tennessee) and Tom Malinowski of New York.  In introducing the Act, the Congressmen claimed that “these schemes require little vetting and are notoriously abused by human traffickers, international criminals, and corrupt oligarchs. Russia is one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to using these golden passport schemes as a back door into other countries”.

In his message to the members of the two Committees, Sir Ronald said, “when the Russian Federation invaded the sovereign state of Ukraine, my Government immediately banned all Russians and Belarusians, whether or not on a list of persons subject to sanctions, from being considered for access to our Citizenship by Investment Programme.  That policy position was taken on March 4th and communicated to all agencies concerned with the Programme.  It has been strictly enforced by the Police, Immigration Control, and the Citizenship by Investment Unit”.

The Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador also told the US House Representatives, including the three who introduced the Act, that “every person who applies for consideration under our Citizenship by Investment scheme is subject to several layers of intense investigation.   These include but are not limited to: a police report from their country of origin and their country of residence; clearance from INTERPOL that they are not wanted by any country in the world and are not fugitives from justice; and a full review of their financial background, companies and businesses with which they have been associated by international due diligence companies”.

Therefore, Ambassador Sanders argued, “it would not be correct to suggest that the Citizenship by Investment Programme in Antigua and Barbuda “require(s) little vetting” or that it is “abused by human traffickers, international criminals, and corrupt oligarchs” as is suggested by the three Congressmen.

In offering to provide any further information, including by testifying before the US House Committees, Sir Ronald urged the US Congressmen to “examine carefully the operations of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme before taking legislative action that would be extremely harmful to a consistent ally of the United States even before the independence of both our countries”.

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7 COMMENTS

    • That’s not a hard question to answer Kristi. The same PM whose battom you love kiss let Choksi in. During a special “appointment”, Choksi wave a few dollars in G-ass-ton face, G-ass-ton sniff it and start salivating. Money pass, end up magically in G-ass-ton pocket and due diligence was done under your PM, G-ass-ton’s watch. Now Choksi is an Antiguan citizen.

    • @ Kristi maybe if you for once in your life move your head from between Gassy ass cheeks blood might flow back to your itsy bitsy Brain and you’ll finally think and comprehend things more clearly.
      🕵️I wonder if the monikers Hopeless Betty , Suckunda and you are the same person
      The ignorance that flows from all three is
      truly nauseating🤮

  1. If USA could tell “Democratic” countries how much air they’re allowed to breathe they would. What an absolutely demonic country, smh.

  2. There goes the USA again attempting to throw its weight around to bully small countries because they have it in for Russia. Considering that most countries require an American visa to visit the USA.

  3. The Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador also told the US House Representatives, including the three who introduced the Act, that “every person who applies for consideration under our Citizenship by Investment scheme is subject to several layers of intense investigation. These include but are not limited to: a police report from their country of origin and their country of residence; clearance from INTERPOL that they are not wanted by any country in the world and are not fugitives from justice; and a full review of their financial background, companies and businesses with which they have been associated by international due diligence companies”.

    Ron Sanders you have got to be kidding. Tell us how many criminals and shady characters have ended up with Antigua’s CIP passports despite all the vetting that you talk about? If mere words could make things right life would be without problems.

    • If it were many, our program would not be so highly rated. But of course, you must exaggerate. Apart from Choksi, whom the Indian police have to be blamed for providing a clean the clean slate for you only have the Chinese Group that bought citizenships under the UPP. The CIU has been doing a splendid job managing the program and keeping it to the highest standard.

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