NO ROOM LEFT AT COCO PALM!
CHASTANET SAYS NEW POLICY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DONALD TRUMP!
Saint Lucia's Citizenship by Investment Unit will no longer accept applications from Iranian citizens. The ban will apply to all Iranian citizens, whether or not they reside in Iran. This was announced by the CIP Unit on August 9, 2018. Four other Caribbean islands—Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and Grenada—have citizenship by investment programmes. However, Saint Lucia's programme alone has an 'Iranians need not apply' condition.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called Timothy Poleon's Newsspin lunchtime radio show to address the ban. He said: "The issue with Iran is determining the source of funds, as well as being able to confirm whether the information that the applicant is giving us is correct. We cannot do it ourselves and the agencies that would normally do the third party background checks for us are themselves struggling with that."
He said: "The sources of information from the banks in Iran aren't trusted sufficiently, so therefore it would make the application process virtually impossible."
Host Timothy Poleon asked, "Prior to the ban were any applications accepted from any Iranian nationals?" The PM's response: "Yes there were, and the policy that we had in existence only accepted applications from Iranians who were residing and had bank accounts outside of Iran."
Mr. Chastanet added: "I hear people trying to make a connection between Donald Trump, or the US's position on Iran, and the letter that came out. There is no connection. That's very different from what the US position is or anybody else's. It is just in terms of meeting the standards that we have."
The prime minister went on: "One of the obstacles that we've had is that there's what's called the Economic Fund. Funds are paid to the CIP board; the board then is to transmit the funds to the Economic Fund. The former government never created regulations or created an Act for the Economic Fund. So, in the absence of those regulations and that Act, it was my understanding that the prime minister, or the minister of finance, would be able to direct where those funds have been going. And so far we've directed that all those funds go into the Consolidated Fund."
According to the Act that governs the CIP, the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund means the "special fund established under Section 33 of this Act for the special purpose of receiving qualifying investments of cash for funding government sponsored projects."
Mr. Chastanet took the opportunity to announce: "We will be coming to parliament very shortly to have a new Act called the Economic Fund Act, which will also have its own regulations."
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says the Iran ban is in keeping with the programme’s standards.