Saint Kitts and Nevis has repudiated a claim made in the Indian press that celebrity Jeweller Nariv Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi – whose passports Indian authorities recently revoked as they stand accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of some US$ 1.7 billion in a case that involves multiple suspects, including some bank employees – have applied for citizenship under Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Opinion of the editor: To think that suspects in such a high-profile criminal case could possibly get past even the first line of scrutiny – let alone the entire due diligence process of the Saint Kitts CIU – is downright preposterous. To uninitiated outside observers, however, this may not be self-evident, which is to say that the story, while entirely phony, has nonetheless harmed the country’s reputation and may cause it lost revenue.
Saint Kitts, therefore, has good legal grounds for a libel suit against the Mumbai Mirror, and should at the very least demand a full retraction.
See the full press release reprinted below:
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis repudiates false claimof Nirav Modi’s application for economic citizenshipFebruary 26th, 2018It has come to the attention of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis that media reports out of India are promulgating the false claim that Nirav Modi, his wife, Ami, and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, have applied for economic citizenship in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis repudiates this allegation and states on the record that Mr. Modi is not a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, and neither are his wife and uncle.Furthermore, Citizenship by Investment (CBI) record checks confirm that no applications have been made by or on behalf of these individuals.Immigration records also indicate that none of these persons has entered any port in St. Kitts and Nevis.An Interpol report dated February 15th, 2018 does not list St. Kitts and Nevis anywhere as a country likely to be visited by these individuals.
Upon assuming office in February 2015 after a decisive electoral victory, Prime Minister Harris’ administration employed IPSA International, a regulatory risk mitigation company, to complete a comprehensive overhaul of the Citizenship by Investment Programme.The new order has resulted in a multi-layered programme of due diligence that makes it one of the most robust and well regulated in the region.The CBI programme does a broad check of media and criminal databases, as well as sanctions lists, and makes a determination whether there are serious or pending legal, regulatory or political matters that would require consideration before any application is approved.The successful reforms engineered by St. Kitts and Nevis have been rewarded by the CBI industry, which recognizes it as the platinum brand.
The Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Index – which was launched in 2017 by Professional Wealth Management, a publication of The Financial Times – acknowledges St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme as an industry leader. Compared with 11 other countries that populate the CBI industry, St. Kitts and Nevis finishes on top of the CBI Index in the due diligence component, as well as in speed and ease of processing applications, and mandatory travel or residence requirements.The 2017 Russian Global Citizen Awards Ceremony recognized St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI product as the World’s Most Innovative Investment Immigration Programme, in acknowledgement of its longstanding contribution to the economic citizenship industry since being established in 1984.Moreover, St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme continues to be the leading programme in the Caribbean, having achieved the number one ranking in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in a January 2018 quality of passport index survey administered by Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm.