Several state agencies are investigating a fabricated Antigua and Barbuda passport, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced.
He said on radio recently that the “particular so-called passport which appears to be a manufactured one, a fabrication, that is a matter that is under investigation.”
He said the Immigration Department, the Passport Office, the Director of Audit, the CIU and others are “investigating that particular matter to see what the situation is.”
Browne was at the time responding to reports on a blog which indicated Syrian national Mohamad Ayad Ghazal, the passport holder, used forged documents in support of his CBI application in Antigua.
Both Browne and the Citizenship by Investment Unit called the report completely false.
The prime minister is alleging that “some UPP person within the system leaked it (passport image) to Monte Friesner and to Kenneth Rijock, (authors of the blog).”
He said the manufactured passport was created from documents stolen from the passport office.
“Last year we had a situation in which a person who was working in the passport office ostensibly was involved in stealing some of the documents and you had people who were trying to manufacture passports using the Antigua documents,” he said.
Browne said this action justifies the move towards the issuance of new passports.
“We have now transitioned to biometric passports to avoid that type of mischief so they can’t alter, replicate or copy it, I mean you now have a greater security mechanism in place,” he said.
“So unlike the machine-readable one that can be forged the biometric ones cannot be forged. And we want to make sure we maintain the integrity of our passport system…” the prime minister added.
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Thwse are the questions that require urgent answers.
1 Is it a valid passport that was obtained illegally?
2 Is there any possible linkage to the John case?
3 Was an audit done at the passport office?
4 Has the bearer of the fradulent passport any linkage to anyone in Antigua and Barbuda?
5 Does the bearer of the fradulent passport has an overseas Bank account in Antigua?
6 Is there any money transaction through or to Antigua by the bearer of the passport?
The investigation needs to be wider much wider…..
Do you know how much fraud of passports occurs regarding the improper use of US and EU passports? A lot, and it happens everyday.
Why is it that a single instance of possible fraud regarding Antigua passports is somehow a big national issue?
Antigua authorities will investigate it and take appropriate action. Simple problem, simple solution.
@Rastaking are you suggesting that we increase the occurrence of passport fraud so we can compete with the US an EU?
And only when we can compete we should investigate? That is some strange logics.
Since there are only 2 murders for the year, no investigation should be done until the murder rate reaches that of US and EU.
Ignorance seems to be your strength……
Brethen why practice selective reading. Why pretend to miss this part:
RastaKing May 31, 2019 at 2:04 pm
” …..Antigua authorities will investigate it and take appropriate action. Simple problem, simple solution…”
Ah Gad, some people just want to be diffcult
This is not a single instance of fraud Rasta!!!!
Why is it under the alp that so many passport fraud take place, you had the DC sniper, Chinese fraudster, Choksi, bitcoin imposter, Columbian ambassador, Cutie Benjamin Jamaican passport forger, Ray John passport scandal, passport office worker arrested and jailed and I could go on and on but space and time does not permit.
The choir singers singing from the same sheet today boy. Whataboutism is the order of the day. Look at the US and EU, the grass is brown over there too, if its happening there we should accept it here. Trouble is US and EU have visa free travel to Canada and almost the entire world. We dont.
Problem is you wish to hold this country to a standard that no other can meet. If one were to try to live their lives by the perfection you call for, the best one can do is bury ones treasures out of fear of making a mistake. Brethen real growth comes via taking careful risks. Boss adhering to your ideology would keep us in training wheel / baby walker stage :
“By seeking and blundering we learn.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This question sounds like its being asked by the same individual who leaked the information in this article
At least we now know the real reason for the sudden passport recall. The sad truth is that the government had its choir members and some well meaning supporters claiming falsely that it was just a planned phasing out of machine readable passports and there was nothing to be alarmed about. Now we’re hearing of Iranian agents under US sanctions.
Let this be a lesson for choir members when you are lying or spreading propaganda on social media, remember it’s your name and your reputation that is being damaged not the ALP.
Boss the Iranian allegation was made against ST. Kitts and Nevis, not against ANU (see your new friends Rijock’s Mar 25, 2018 posts). In terms of our passport recall, the government has made quite clear that the driver for this recall was not this incident, since the move to bio metric started long before these allegations were made. In your usual quickness to throw your own country under the bus please note that when arrested Trump’s campaign manger had 3 US passports, with different id’s in his possession. Think you know there are persons currently offering forged EU, Israeli etc passports for sale.
Is it one from ray john?
Haffu be. He and his girl who used to work at the passport office.
This makes sense and clearly put the recall into perspective.
Maybe it’s one of the many of the alleged stolen passports that were sold by Ray John and his accomplices? Btw, how is that case progressing?
Or one of the many passports given to Yida and the other Chiney man in the WIOC deal? So many possibilities. That was about 200 passports floating about in the name of raising funds.
@djones80 no passport was given to anyone.
It is or was access to 200 passports once all the ducks was properly aligned.
Do not take what the opposition say as facts listen for yourself independent of the spin.
No 200 passports was given to yida nor the China man….so stop the propogand
Actually I read about the 100 CIP passport issued to Yida Zhang in the Yida agreement. The idea was to sell the passports in order to raise funds for the project. Same with the WIOC deal. His passports were granted as payment for the monies used to buy the shares. Were they actual physical passports or passport applications? That we are still not sure of, but don’t tell me I’m taking what the opposition say as facts. I take what I read as facts. I suggest you read both agreements. A google search would bring them up.
@djobes80 Anyone who is literate can read anything.
Unfortunately understanding contextually what was read is obviously a challenge.
No passport application nor physical passport was given to anyone.
The deal was they would direct up to 200 persons to CIP unit and the funds made from the investment after all the due diligence etc would go to YIDA and the WIOC Chiny man.
So now you know…..
Could you please stop. No government would simply give 100 passports to persons unknown. The cip prepay which has been reported involved a Chinese business man. The applicants would still have to go through the due diligence process. Look it’s clear you dislike the current government but try not to let that have allow you to treat your own nation like garbage by pushing lies
Boss stop make things up, take the time and read the relevant articles before making stories up
It would seem to me that there needs to be a clean house within the passport office. I believe that the existing passport office is tainted and a fresh start with fresh staff is urgently required.
Sounds like a plan to me. I don’t think the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.
Don’t be too quick to blame the staff in the passport office. Did the government confirm with the British authorities whether or not Asot Michael had blank passports when he was arrested in London. It is just possible that there was a scheme to issue CIP passports through the back door. If this were the case, you can guess who would be pocketing the money. Don’t think it would be the first time Asot would be acting as bag man. No one is fooled by the PM blaming UPP people in the passport office. Does he have evidence that any of them received payment. There were big bucks to be made from sale of CIP passports.
Not sure how this would work, but ‘…investigative knowledge and experience, suggest that the only appropriate investigative agency should be the ‘…Director of Audit.’
With adequate and competent personnel, this might be done ‘simultaneously,’ that no agency would be allowed time to do ‘…house cleaning or conveniently lost relevant records.’
In allowing ‘…each agency to do its own investigation’ could be likened to ‘…shoppers going into supermarkets and picking up just the items they need.’
This is premised on the fact that;
(i) …The Director of Audit does not conduct due diligence, vet or screen or interview applicants;
(ii) …That department does not issue passports to applicants; and
(iii) …It does not function at ports of entry where passports are presented by holders where they shall
be closely scrutinized to gain entry, but more importantly. for ‘…forgery or falsity.’
Accepting this news item as correctly reported, not sure what objectives could be achieved.
Who was the person detained at a European airport that had a suitcase full of ready to use passports?.(I just need reminding) thanks in advance…
Boss use common sense if you have any. You really believe UK authorities would have let AM just walk if that was true? You notice no legitimate media house in the UK reporting such? Its only coming from some online blogs ran by some old white convicts. Tellingly they never state it as a fact but instead word it as a question. Yet watch you tek the bait
Now the PM alleges that it is a “fabricated ” passport ? Come on, it came right out of A & B Government Records. More spin efforts that do not stand up to the facts. Look at the image; does that look like a poorly made counterfeit to you, Antiguans ? Also, are the Dubai Residency Cards also fabricated ? And why didn’t someone at CIU identify the passports as fake when i first published the story ? Show us how and where it is fabricated, spin doctor. This is an effort by a fatally flawed, corrupt government to hide the fact that they sell CBI passports to terrorists.
Rijock, if you had taken the time to familiarize yourself with our laws regarding CIP , section 4(1), of the 2013 act, you would know that persons when issued Citizenship via CIP are on probation for 5 years hence would only get initially a 5 year passport (see https://cip.gov.ag/citizenship/antigua-and-barbuda-passport/ ). The passport you showed was for ten years hence was not a CIP passport. Again, the CIP Unit has made clear the passport was never obtained via CIP
Mr. Tenman, Since when did the CIU ever follow the law. How many CBI passports were issued to criminals whose records were available to any child who could access the information on Google ? You think that the 10-year expiration date clears the CIU ? That’s nonsense; they did that to make it LOOK LIKE a non CBI passport. Any CIU that sells passports to known criminals is breaking international law, and we known how that ends up.
More importantly, why did the CIU never publicly declare that this numbered passport was stolen and therefore not valid ? it’s been years since the famous 200-passport theft story. That passport was issued back in 2015, and obviously used in Antigua; look at the supplemental ID from Dubai that was also made available to our team of investigators. The whole scandal has given Antigua a major black eye in the international arena.
How many? Boss CIU has never issued a passport to known criminals. The reality is CIP does not have a crystal ball which allows it to predict persons being convicted of a crime. This is why the law provides a probation period which allows citizenship to be revoked if and when this happens. I know you think repeating the same lies would make persons think thy are true, but that’s your conditioning from being a convicted fraudster. One would think your time in prison would have reformed you, but instead clearly telling untruths have become your raison d’être. Last time I saw the list of persons who run the CIU, none of them have ever been found guilty or are even on trial for committing a crime. The person who heads the unit is well respected. Think you will agree, yours and your buddies background are long tarnished.
Keep up the good work Sir. The tenmen, tenwomen and even the keepwomen will always make noise!
And the duncybat who have no problem standing behind convicted fraudsters over his own country, will eventually get his due. Boss I know I am on firm ground standing behind the hard workers who are employed at the ciu unit and also the passport office. They are not perfect but on no occasion has any of then been charged with fraud or found guilty like the man you wish to support
Nobody in the passport office has been charged? Ray Johns accomplice has not been charged and remanded to prison?
Anyway I see the fraudsters are exposing your ignorance and lack of expertise on these matters. Your nasty personal attacks in attempts to bully opponents into silence not working here so I leave you to it.
Yes Dessalines , you got me on that one S Charles has been charged. Why not also state that she no longer has nothing to do with passports? So to you mind one alleged bad apple spoils the hold bunch? I understand how you and these guys are like kindred spirit since you sing from the same hymn sheet. Throw dirt is all you do, just hoping some would stick.
Question 1. More importantly, why did the CIU never publicly declare that this numbered passport was stolen and therefore not valid ?
Answer: CIP could not declare this passport stolen since it was never issued/authorized by CIP. Mohamaf Ayad Ghazal never applied to CIP. The news is that its suspected that the passport was fabricated and the matter is and was being investigated before you ran the somewhat fictionalized May 21 article
Question 2. it’s been years since the famous 200-passport theft story.
Answer: There has been no famous CIP 200 passport theft. A agent/ service provider prepaid for 200 future CIP applicants. Like all applicants they would have to go through the same rigorous due diligence procedure all others do, and if they fail, would not receive citizenship. Included in that process is the names and details of the applicants are forwarded to the US embassy in Barbados for their feedback. The Embassy there in a press release in April 2016, made clear its willingness to continue to offer assistance but reminded that the ultimate decision lies with A&B.
Tenman, are you taking the time to understand and digest what this issue of terrorist supporters being in possession of Antigua and Barbuda passports regardless of whether they got them from the CIP unit or the stolen blank passports from the passport office. This is not a matter of red or blue it is a matter of homeland security in the westernized world and the consequential backlash that WILL come from the countries that matter. We, the people are the ones who will suffer the consequences of being blacklisted in the world and all because of GREED and a “I don’t care” attitude because the top leaders have accumulated enough funds to keep them in luxury for the rest of their lives and I am willing to bet that the “dirty” monies have been placed offshore in whatever names. I don’t care what St. Kitts or whoever else has done I am concerned for us living here in a pin head sized island that has been pushed and shoved down into a septic of corruption to support a self-enrichment (bad) leadership…we need a new leader and the wimps who hold office need to get the balls to do something about that and do it now!
Blacklisted by whom? Did you take the time to read the last US state department report on ANU? Fact is it sites the many improvements which have been made. The government has made clear it is investigating this matter. Steps have been taken to ensure there is no repeat of what has been alleged to have occurred. The problem we face is people like you who are always pushing the sky is falling notion. You blow things out of proportion. Don’t recall your doing the same when Trump’s campaign manager was found with 3 different US passports. The US state department itself has pointed out its knowledge of known terrorists with US passports and there is a bill being pushed to revoke the known ones (House Bill H.R. 145). Hearing you talk one gets the impression A&B is the only place which faces these challenges. Boss it is knowing of this possibility why Canadian Bank note was engaged a few years ago to help hasten our move to a more secure passport. We move forward, mistakes will be made, we learn and unlike your wish, will continue to move forward, having garnered more wisdom.
I was a bank attorney and compliance officer before you were born, young man. Go read my bio onlline. What is your educational level on compliance ? You know damn well that there is zero due diligence being performed on Antigua CBI applicants, because at least three dozen individuals that I am aware of have disqualifying negative information, freely available on Google, open to anyone smart enough to conduct an enhanced due diligence investigation. And how do you know that the names on the passports are not aliases ? There is NO facial recognition software system checking to verify identity in Antigua. For those reasons alone, the CIU gets a failing grade from this compliance officer.
My associate, Monte Friesner, has personal knowledge of the fact that neither the US Embassy in Barbados, or any other US Government ageny, or any agency in Canada, is do ANY checking of Antigua CBI passport applicants. That is a lie, and you, and PM Browne, and disgraced ex-minister Asot Michael, know this.
Your associate has also been convicted for fraud. Again there is a April press release from the US embassy making clear that they do work with the government, so its up to you if you wish to ignore facts. So brethren your job was to ensure persons did not break the rule yet you broke those very rules? They had a wolf in your guarding the proverbial hen house, what a thing. Why not admit that yours and your partner’s purpose continues to be to fool the unsuspecting? Again you may wish to repeat the con that the CIU unit approved persons without due diligence but this is yet another lie. Persons like Donald Myatt played a major role in designing our CIP program. His background shows him as someone who understands compliance. Rijock I have known the current CEO since her very first job after college (University of the West Indies). Her background is steeped in compliance where at one of her past positions at Scotia Bank she was Senior Manager of Compliance for the Eastern Caribbean Region responsible AML/CFT and regulatory compliance for nine countries including Barbados and St. Maarten. Rijock, unlike you none of these persons have shown themselves as wolves. They have made clear publicly that CIP does proper due diligence. There is no real evidence of the contrary. All the examples I have seen given, its clear the information was not available at time of vetting. What seems to be driving your need to sully the A&B program is you have software,new tech you claimed in 2017, you are trying to sell.
KILL THE MESSENGERS IS THE MOTTO OF THE LEADERS OF ANTIGUA who are the same leaders who supported and protected Stanford International Bank. Your own PM was receiving $350,000 every year from Stanford in consulting fees while LeRoy King was receiving $500,000 each year to falsify Financial Statements to the US Regulators. The leaders of Antigua are leading the people of Antigua to the slaughterhouse, but the leaders do not care, because they have filled their pockets with ill gotten gains since the day Antigua became a proud nation of its own right.
It is a disgrace and a sin to what has happened to Antigua with nthe so called Citizen By Investment Program, which has turned into goat shit by the leaders and I will be the first to testify against the leaders when the time comes and it will, because the Truth and Justice will prevail and the leaders will have not have a place to hide except join Big Al Stanford in prison.
This is stated by a convicted Money Launderer who has since 1992 has exposed and put many criminals in prison and I am proud of it.
If there is no truth to the fact that Syrian nationals, working for Iran, hold Antigua passports, why are there three USA law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Antigua at this moment, conducting terrorist financing investigations ?
You can point out all the qualified individuals working in compliance in Antigua that you can find, but the truth is that you have dozens of unsuitable foreign nationals, all running around with CBI passport issued in Antigua.
And why don’t you identify yourself by name ? Is is because you work for the government ?
Question asked by Rijock: If there is no truth to the fact that Syrian nationals, working for Iran, hold Antigua passports, why are there three USA law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Antigua at this moment, conducting terrorist financing investigations ?
Answer: Why keep changing the questions? Your May 21st article wrongly claimed that a Syrian national applied to and was given a CIP passport due to due diligence flaws at our end. It stated:
“What you see above is a Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) passport, issued by Antigua, to a Syrian national. According to our sources, Mohamad Ayad Ghazal, the passport holder, used forged documents in support of his CBI application in Antigua.”.
The CIU unit via a press release has made clear your articles claim regarding him applying and obtaining a cip passport is a lie. Instead of admitting this you continue to make allegations. Are you still working for /partnering with the United Progressive Party? Recall you and the other con man being prominent in their 2018 election campaign. Not sure what turns on whether I work for the Antiguan government since all I am doing is to personally respond to the con job you are trying to pull. No one wants your flawed tech which in reality is really a Trojan horse/cover to blackmail
For the record, the individual writing here anonymously as “Tenman” is an lower-level official, below ministerial rank, in the Government of Antigua & Barbuda. You may recognize his writing style from several of the “articles” which have been artfully placed in Caribbean media. They are press releases disguised as articles.
And yet again you prove my point, “Lower level”, what a joke. Brethen, you are clearly a con man. We can get better guidance from obeah men, than from you. Harold probably washes his hands every time he shook yours
Sad that you could not be a success in the Bahamas selling trinkets to the tourists on the beaches; however, you show up in Antigua spreading disconente and fake news to protect your criminal leaders while they fleece the proud people of Antigua.
On Antigua anyone can become an Ambassador or Minister by learning to bend over for the leaders and careless for the poor people of Antigua. Having “Diarrhea of the Mouth” is deadly!
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