OCCRP report on Dominica raises concern over authenticity of facts

In  a recent  report (OCCRP), the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project accused the former intelligence chief of Afghanistan named, Asadullah Khalid. The report alleged that he was guilty of human rights violations, and has been granted the citizenship of Dominica under CBI program

In  a recent  report (OCCRP), the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project accused the former intelligence chief of Afghanistan, Asadullah Khalid. The report alleged that he was involved in human rights violations and had been granted citizenship of Dominica under the CBI programme

Notably (OCCRP) Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, in the same report recently blamed the CBI (Citizenship by Investment) program of Dominica; the report alleged that many people with criminal backgrounds are misusing the CBI programme. It also mentioned that a person with past criminal records got citizenship.

Advertisement

But now reports have surfaced that there can be a secret role of opposing parties of Dominica behind the publication of this report to defame the incumbent government.

Although the information published by OCCRP accused Khalid of human rights violations, but report itself skipped to mention his close ties with the US and its top political leadership. It is To be specifically noted that former president Barack Obama of the US himself visited Khalid at the hospital.

These mistakes make the report a suspicious piece of paper due to a lack of factual clarity. The misleading fact covered in the report raises eyebrows about the research work that was supposed to have been done before publishing the report.

Some other apparent mistakes also reflected the biased aspects of research to prepare the OCCRP report on Dominica. It has come to light that Khalid came into contact with the US in the late 1990s. At that time, he was a member of the anti-Taliban resistance and was also believed to have close ties with the CIA agency of the United States of America.

Moreover, Khalid played a significant role in the US-led effort to bring stability to Afghanistan. But despite the close ties Khalid with the USA, OCCRP skipped to discuss his ties with the US.

According to the report, the US is one of the major critics of the “CBI” programme of Dominica but itself had a close relationship with the alleged abuser of human rights.

Advertisement

It is worth mentioning that  Khalid just had an allegation against him for human rights violations but was never charged by any court of law.

OCCRP report also revealed that since the year 2007, at least 7,700 individual had gained Citizenship in Dominica, including the number of the person who has been granted Citizenship by investment and those who got Citizenship through other modes like marriages, etc.

The further weak point of the report is that in spite of its so-called exhaustive research till now, OCCRP could identify only 26 individuals with a history of indirect crime or corruption.

Moreover, out of these 26 individuals, some did not have any criminal record at the time they were granted Citizenship of Dominica.

OCCRP report also failed to appreciate the fact that Dominica has also revoked the Citizenship of as many as 260 citizens who were found to have concealed the material facts to get citizenship of Dominica, and speculation is also doing the rounds that these 26 individuals could be among those who lost citizenship.

The above-said lapses in the report further underlined the inaccuracy of the fact-finding, which was part of OCCRP and used to criticise the CBI programme of Dominica.

Going deep inside the report, another fact that has surfaced is that researched manipulated the point that interviews were only made mandatory in July 2023, but on the contrary, this fact is totally misleading.

Dominica is, in fact, the first nation that introduced the mandatory interviews in July 2023 for the persons who seek to get citizenship of Dominica under the CBI programme. So this kind of grave defect in report further demands the cross-checking of facts to ensure the accurate representation of any important issue of a public nature.

Extra analysis of the report also enlarges the fact that the tradition of maintaining the gazettes in paper formats in the Caribbean region is very old.

The names of an individual are also documented transparently who obtained Citizenship of Dominia through any one mode of Citizenship.

Additionally, these documented records can be accessed by the public with ease. Anyone can procure copies of these documents from the state libraries and archives of Dominica, where these records are usually preserved for future reference.

The OCCRP report also highlighted that second citizenships can provide security to people who are living in the region where human rights violations are usually reported.

OCCRP report also stated that “any government has the legal right to set its own standard on who becomes its citizen, And for many people living under the oppressive regimes, a second nationality can provide safe opportunity.

Local media, particularly Associates Times, also criticises the OCCRP reports due to vague facts. Some are alleging the opposition parties of Dominica behind the release of this OCCRP report that brought Dominica a bad image.

Here, it is again very significant to disclose that just a week ago, the local media house Associates Times unveiled the purported chat images of opposition UWP worker Trevor Tossy Johnson with representatives from many international media groups.

In these chats, opposition worker Johnson confessed to communicating with many international media groups. Although these chats have not been verified till now, it is crystal clear that someone had prior knowledge about the report being compiled on the CBI programme of Dominica.

The report seemed to copy and pasted the views of the UWP, which is the biggest critic of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. For many years, opposition leaders have been accusing PM Skerrit of corruption without any evidence, and now this report again suggests that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has collected huge wealth using the money of the CBI programme but again without any concrete evidence.

The report also described Lennox Linton as a “Prominent Opposition Leader” but ignored a crucial fact. That essential fact is Al-Jazeera had already exposed Linton while signing a document that pledged to grant a diplomatic passport in exchange for election funds if he is elected to power.

These large number of mistakes and facts omissions further strengthen the viewpoint of Associates Times that suggested that the OCCRP report may be the brainchild of opposition parties of Dominica.

In this way, it appears that the report presented one-sided view without cross-checking the accuracy of facts. There was a  declaration by the Integrity Commission, which clarified that there is no evidence to support the allegation against PM Skerrit.

Besides misleading views, the OCCRP also presents some positive aspects, like revenue. The revenue generated from the CBI is the main source of the Dominican government.

The report also mentioned specifically the transparency related to the CBI programme, as names of applicants are publically available.

According to the report, most of the data is offline, but the government made efforts to bring transparency.

OCCRP report appreciated the scrutiny process used by Dominica. Only after passing the screening process, investors allowed to become citizens after three months of paying fees.

The report itself mentioned that CBI regulation rules out any possibility of Citizenship to people with criminal records, with the exception of minor offences, the person against whom any investigation is going on or the person who can pose any security threat to Dominica.

There is the provision of the Multilevel vetting process.

OCCRP also recognised the recent implementation of rigorous measures for the CBI programme. Notably, applicants from certain countries, including North Korea, are restricted from getting benefits under the CBI programme.

Moreover, the recent Russia –Ukraine war brought fresh restrictions against the Russian and Belarusian applicants. There were only 2 Russians who obtained citizenship and the report blatantly labelled allegations, whereas, countries like the UK provided citizenship to hundreds of Russians without any due diligence. The fact has been admitted by Home Office of the UK following the suspension of Tier 1 Investor Programme.

The decision to ban Russian and Belarusian applicants was described as a welcoming step by the US State Department.

Tariq Saeed

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More

Saint Lucia: Dy PM Ernest Hilaire motivates students prepping for CPEA examination

Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia – Ernest Hilaire, has recently extended his heartfelt best wishes and blessings to nearly 2000 students of the country following their CPEA (Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment) exam, 2023 scheduled to be held on May 04 and May 05, 2023.  

Dubai police boost its fleet with 100 Audi vehicles

As a part of the ongoing strategic collaboration, the Dubai Police has boosted its fleet with 100 Audi vehicles which has been provided by Audi, Al Nabooda Automobiles.

India: New Delhi hosts Shared Buddhist History on March 14, 15

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations and India were the focus of a conference on "Shared Buddhist History" that has organised on March 14 and 15 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

Recent

Zero Gravity is indicated using a Turtle by SpaceX’s Crew-3

The "turtle-takeover" of space has started. A SpaceX Crew-3 astronaut, Kayla Barron, released a shimmering sea turtle to float over her head shortly after...

Dominica: Politician Fanella Wenham shares Calendar for Yachting Festival

Dominica: The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth constituency of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Fenella Wenham, has recently shared the calendar of PAYS Dominica Yachting Festival under the theme of 'Celebrating Yachting in our Communities' from 19th to March 26, 2023.

Dubai celebrates milestone; successful first liver transplant marks medical breakthrough

The groundbreaking surgery took place at Kings College Hospital London Dubai on November 29, showcasing the city's growing capabilities in the field of organ transplantation
admin