Photo Caption: Dr. Denzil Douglas, (file photo)
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Former Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and current Leader of the Opposition the Right Hon Dr Denzil L. Douglas said Wednesday that the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government is deceptive and cannot be trusted by the citizens of the twin-island Federation, international agencies and friendly governments around the world.
Dr Douglas was responding to charges brought by the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on an American attorney who used money obtained by fraud to get St Kitts and Nevis citizenship and was given St Kitts and Nevis passports for him and his wife by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.
“Between June 2015 and March 2016, the court documents are showing that these two persons made application to become citizens of St Kitts and Nevis, four months after the Team Unity Government led by Dr Harris took office, and by March of this year, Dr. Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis has signed the Certificates of Citizenship that made them citizens of St Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Douglas said on Freedom FM 106.5 “Issues” programme.
Dr. Douglas said the granting of citizenship to David Kaplan and his wife, Lisa raises a number of questions, especially when there was a song and dance about the Citizenship and Investment Programme under the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration “when Dr Harris was telling the world that St. Kitts and Nevis was selling passports like Ms Mem selling black pudding on a Saturday morning and afternoon and that criminals and money launderers were using our programme but up to now not even one name could be mentioned by that government.”
“Today, the United States Government has made it absolutely clear to the world that the Citizenship by Investment Programme under Timothy Harris is attracting crooks and fraudsters and signed off by none other than Dr Timothy Harris himself as Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas who told listeners to the popular programme that a number of questions arise.
“Did Dr Harris and the CIU here carry out any due diligence check on this couple before he signed the Certificate of Citizenship that gave them citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis and our passports? If the due diligence check was done, was the findings of the due diligence check ignored by Harris when he signed the certificates that made them citizens of St Kitts and Nevis and if no due diligence check was done, why not?
Did Mr. and Mrs. David Kaplan make any monetary contribution to Dr Harris’ February 15th 2015 General Election campaign and if so, how much was contributed to the election campaign? The question is been asked by the United States Government, Did Mr. and Mrs. David Kaplan make any monetary contribution to the Team Unity election campaign and if so, how much did they contribute and so I go back to the original question was the due diligence done and if it was done where the findings ignored,?” Dr. Douglas asked.
Pointing out that Prime Minister Harris had a press conference on Monday morning, hours after the story broke around the world, every citizen wondered if the issue was going to be raised by Prime Minister Harris, “but not one word on the issue was heard from Dr. Harris to the citizens of this country when he knew by Monday that two international crooks were carrying around our passports and had been identified by the US Government and he said nothing to the people of St Kitts and Nevis in his press conference.. Why Dr. Harris did you not come clean and speak to the people of this country/”
Dr. Douglas stated that US authorities contacted local authorities on May 19th when the charges were been filed and that the Timothy Harris Government was been questioned or informed by US authorities on or about May 29. Why is it that on Monday 30th May Dr. Harris did not say something to the citizens of this country? What is it that he is hiding?”
The former prime minister disclosed that the arrest of the two American citizens granted St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by Prime Minister Harris “is only the tip of the iceberg.”
“We understand that already he (Dr. Harris) has before him another five queries from the United States Government pertaining to crooks and fraudsters who have entered into the Citizenship by Investment Programme since he has been the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Douglas said.