Sunday 22 April, 2018

PM says no cause for alarm after US report CIP criticism

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet addressed the recent report released by the United States State Department which took a critical position to Saint Lucia's Citizenship by Investment Programme.

The US State Department issued its 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) saying “The government established a Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) to manage the screening and application process. The CIU does not maintain adequate autonomy from politicians to prevent political interference in its decisions. U.S. law enforcement also is increasingly concerned about the expansion of these programs due to the exposure to local corruption and the visa-free travel and ability to open bank accounts accorded these individuals.”

Chastanet responded saying, "As it pertains to CIP, the US continues to say what they’ve always been saying. That they have concerns… they want to ensure that the CIP is away from politicians. I think that the US and Canada and the UK would actually prefer if the CIP was run out of the OECS Secretariat and that it was a regional project rather than an individual national project. Given that I need the cooperation of all the other heads to achieve that in the meanwhile we continue to do things to distance my office from CIP.”

He continued, “I support their comments, we will continue to work to endeavour to make sure that everyone has confidence in this programme." He concluded saying, "I look at the report by the US as a report that is intended to be critical. I don’t think there is anything in the report that St Lucians should be alarmed at, there’s no major significant changes in their position…”

Watch the prime minister’s comments below: