Castries, St Lucia — The Saint Lucia government’s desire to sell thousands of passports abroad in exchange for huge sums of cash through the economic citizenship by investment programme should be of concern to all Saint Lucian citizens who love their country and desire transparency regarding this process, the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) said in a press release on Sunday.
“Moreover, given the unscrupulous history of this programme in most resource-poor nations that are desperate for cash and have already instituted it, there is an even greater danger, which is their limited capacity to manage the kinds of serious international criminal activities associated with economic citizenship by investment,” the LPM said.
According to the LPM, this programme will attract a number of foreign nationals who have earned their money illegally and who will not hesitate to take advantage of the safe haven that Saint Lucian economic citizenship affords them.
“Therefore, notwithstanding other pertinent arguments of a patriotic nature, which beg the question of whether our government’s proposed action amounts to a cheapening of Saint Lucian citizenship, the LPM, without any malice or ill will, is humbly requesting that the government of Saint Lucia update our nation on the following matters:
“A) Has our government entered into a consultative agreement with Christian Kalin of the Swiss law firm Henley & Partners with a view to enact the Economic Citizenship by Investment Programme here in Saint Lucia? If so, what is the total cost, if any, to the government and the people of Saint Lucia?
“B) Are any other foreign organisations or entities associated with this ongoing process?
“C) Which individual(s), organisation(s) or entities will administer or facilitate the drive to sell Saint Lucian passports abroad? Moreover, will these individuals, organisations or entities be licensed by the government of Saint Lucia, and is there a commission involved?
“D) Will the government of Saint Lucia seek the assistance of Interpol or perhaps other international law enforcement agencies before issuing the passports? In addition, will these agencies be granted unfettered rights to monitor our nation’s activities with regard to the proposed Economic Citizenship by Investment Programme?
“Finally, the LPM hopes that the government of Saint Lucia will accede to the preceding request in the interest of our nation and that it will not act with disdain towards the party for raising these important issues, which are rooted in the premise of good governance.”