CIU Awaits Probe Request
Despite Thursday’s declaration by the Minister of Economic Investment, Asot Michael, that the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) had been “authorised” to carry out a probe into the issuing of passports to 17 Iranians and two Yemenis, no official request had been made up to Friday afternoon.
“It’s probably on its way. It has not been received by the unit, but we are prepared to conduct the exercise when asked so to do,” the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CIU, Thomas Anthony said, indicating that the request would have to come from the minister responsible for the Citizenship by investment Programme (CIP), Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Anthony said once the unit carries out the Cabinet’s directive to re-conduct due diligence on the 19 already approved applications for citizenship, he is confident that “the results will be the same”.
“I am confident that when the exercise is conducted, the results would be the same – that these individuals would be considered fit and proper persons to receive Antigua & Barbuda citizenship,” Anthony said.
Anthony placed his confidence in what he said was the “robust level of due diligence” that the unit carried out around 2014 when the the Iranians and Yemenis applications were granted.
The minister of economic investment actually said, “We have no evidence that there were any nefarious activities or that any of these applicants were involved in any terrorist or money laundering activities.”