Officials Deny Selling Citizenship To Syrian



The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) strongly rejects the false claims in yet another unfounded attack in the online blog of two convicted money launderers, Ken Rijock and Monte Friesner.

In a May 21st posting, the two men state that a person by the name of Mohamad Ayad Ghazal, a Syrian national, was issued a passport through the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

The CIU is compelled, once again, to denounce the false information spread by Rijock and Friesner who have been carrying-out a campaign designed to damage the Citizenship by Investment programmes in the Caribbean for reasons best known to themselves.

The CIU advises that it has not approved citizenship or the grant of a passport to a person by the name of Mohamad Ayad Ghazal, nor does it have any record of his applying for citizenship.

Having dispensed with the falsehood of the claim concerning the CIU issuing Mr. Ghazal a passport, the CIU notes that the rest of the blog posted by Messrs. Rijock and Freisner is replete with gossip, unsubstantiated claims and malicious speculation that seeks to damage the reputation of Antigua and Barbuda generally.

Further, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has recalled all passports and are issuing new e-passports, containing all the biometric data of the holders, with effect from June 1st.

The CIU reaffirms that its multi-layered due diligence processes, with leading due diligence service providers and intergovernmental law enforcement agencies, remain resilient.

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  1. Are those photographs we published, of his A & B passport, UAE Resident Card and Identity Card, not enough proof for Antigua’s citizens ? And what about all the other dodgy Syrians holding Antigua CBI/CIP passports ? Should we publish all their passport pictures as well ? Local Antiguan bankers and politicians seem to know very well who they are.

    • It’s very telling that they are yet to sue these two individuals. Asot and Gaston has threatened to sue on numerous occasions, yet, no lawsuit is forthcoming. Maybe, just maybe they are not lying?

    • Who better to know the ins and outs of the financial crooks in the world than two who previously committed felonies of same? If there were grounds for a lawsuit I’m sure it would have already happened. Maybe the only way a lesson will be learned is when the United States slaps sanctions on Antigua for all the dirty dealings with Venezuelan oil and aiding and abetting Iran to circumvent the sanctions on them…unfortunately it will be we, the people who will suffer the consequences. Iran doesn’t feed us, neither does Venezuela and trust me, we don’t want to be fed by China.

  2. If you didn’t sold the Syrians our passports, where the hell they got our passports from then? We need answer officials.

  3. The defense to libel and slander is TRUTH, ladies & gentlemen. Read the article, look at the photographs, Google “Ghazal,” and draw your own conclusions. PM Browne has alleged that the passport in my article was a blank from the group of “stolen passports.” Look at how well the passport was prepared, and tell me that it was some sort of amateur job done in a dark alley somewhere. The passport is REAL. While you are conducting your own investigation, ask Asot Michael where are the dozen blank A & B passports he had on him when he was interrogated by British detectives at a London Airport for 24 hours.

    • First you falsely claim its a CBI issued passport. Now you continue pushing it by suggesting that perhaps AM provided it. The passport office months ago, made clear that you claim of a blank A&B passports is ridiculous yet you continue to prattle. The fellas in prison gave you so much attention that you now can’t do without now you are free? Just amazing how over some 90% of your alegations prove to be false yet some idiots still will to give you an ear

  4. Look at the fine print; this article is not a news story but a PRESS RELEASE from the CIU. Funny how nobody’s name appears as the author of the press release. Why didn’t the CIU disclose who prepared it ? That’s because it did not come from the CIU, but from one of the spin masters close to the Prime Minister, who has been trying to spin the story, to escape the sordid truth. PM, you can trash the whistle blowers all you want, the truth remains. The is no effective due diligence at the CIU. Anyone with cash in hand can walk away with an Antigua passport, even evaders of international and United Nations sanctions.

    • Guy don’t you tire of being pushing fabricated stories? Hearing you talk, one would think that ANR, Antigua Observer and other media houses in Antigua, would simply accept press releases from anyone with an email address. This is probably your policy but we actually have persons running some of these media houses with a brain in their head who know there would be held liable if the named source was fabricated.

      • Don’t believe a word that comes out of this government and their defenders. Where there is smoke there is usually fire.

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