Audit finds nothing wrong with Antigua’s CIP

Information Minister Melford Nicholas

A former MI5 investigator who conducted an audit of Antigua & Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme has given it the “seal of approval” Information Minister Melford Nicholas has said.

He told the weekly cabinet press conference which ended here this morning that changes implemented in the program since April “has worked seamlessly.”

Nicholas said many of the issues identified with the former supplier of passport “have been overcome.”

Even when pressed the minister could not list one area of concern raised by the consultant.

He said the audit only became necessary when other islands began having disclosure issues with their CIP and the government thought it important to take precautions.

The Cabinet recently approved a decision to use Canadian Bank Note (CBN) to provide the new passports and the system for their issuance.

The security features and the storage methods were examined and shared with the Cabinet.

But Chief of Staff Max Hurst said in Cabinet notes that the former M.I.5 investigator made “several proposals to strengthen the due diligence systems of Nationals by birth, Nationals by Registration, and CIP Nationals who are issued Antigua and Barbuda passports.”

He said the debate in the Cabinet centered around the biometric identifiers that strengthen the security of the document and the authenticity.

The government says a combined 3000 passports have been issued under CIP and generally since the new system.

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