New chairman of the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Monetary Council, prime minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell, has announced he will be launching an inquiry into whether the region’s citizenship by investment programmes (CIPs) are making it mandatory for their applicants to go through regional security due diligence, as they have committed to doing.
“There are reports circulating of some citizenship by investment applicants receiving passports without the regional body getting the data about the applicant and not conducting the relevant due diligence,” Mitchell told reporters during his weekly post-cabinet briefing on Monday, according to Now Grenada.
“Despite the fact that some are saying this doesn’t happen in their jurisdiction, the fact is that rumours are out there, and I told my colleagues that we have to deal with this. If it’s not true, then we have to confront it. We cannot just say it’s not true because the rumours are circulating, so they have mandated me to get the facts and to examine the issue,” he continued.
Applicants to the Caribbean’s various CIPs are supposed to get the green light from regional vetting bodies like CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the Joint Regional Communication Centre agency. Mitchell and the council he chairs will now be double-checking the records of these agencies against the registries of the individual programs, to see whether any discrepancies are present.
The question of full and effective due diligence has long been a thorny issue for Caribbean CIPs and Grenada itself has by no means been immune to controversy, especially when connected with the alleged sale of diplomatic passports.