Above please see yet another of those so-called ratings or indexes of the jurisdictions offering Citizenship by Investment (CBI-CIP) programs, which sell foreign investors valid passports issued by the participating countries. For a number of reasons, not only are the rankings skewed in favour of the East Caribbean States (all five of them curiously hold the first five positions on the list) but the calculations do not take into account any possible negative factors. They are therefore inaccurate and misleading and only serve as selling points in international CBI consultancies' marketing programs.
Here's a short list of what factors are not used in compiling the lists. The most important indicator of the value of a specific CBI program seems to be the number of countries one may visit, without the necessity of acquiring a visa in advance. This would indicate that the sole criteria of importance are the ability to enter multiple nations without being cleared through a visa application process. What type of individual requires that benefit? Obviously criminal elements.
Here is my list:
(1) Applicants do not know that a specific CBI jurisdiction was, or is, a known tax haven a/k/a, an offshore financial centre, where corporation secrecy and/or bank secrecy is the law, is never discussed. This is like painting a bull's eye target on your back, for Western law enforcement agencies, who have a long memory regarding tax havens used for illicit purposes.
(2) Investors are not told that the issuing country can revoke your passport and citizenship privileges at will, and you have little or no legal recourse, inasmuch as the local court system does generally follow only political direction and not the rule of law. Several of the jurisdictions are not true democracies, due to massive voter fraud and bribery programs conducted each election day.
(3) CBI Applicants do not know how many financial criminals, international sanctions evaders, corrupt PEPs, fugitive from justice abroad also hold the passport you have purchased.
(4) Applicants are not told about the stability, or lack of it, regarding the local economy, ruling political party in power, security situation, external influences, and visa waivers, any one of which could result in the collapse of the CBI program, or the mass cancellation of passports issued pursuant to its authority, or the serious diminution in their value to the holder.
The bottom line: a CBI passport, issued by an Eastern Caribbean state, may not be as durable as one issued by a European CBI jurisdiction when one compares political stability, but the European jurisdictions are ranked below all the East Caribbean ones. We wonder how that happened.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant