St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Former government minister Asim Martin of the opposition Labour Party says the Team Unity administration should stop blaming former Prime Minister Denzil Douglas over the Ren Biao scandal and take steps to resolve the matter.
Chinese Ren Biao, an economic citizen of St Kitts and Nevis, is accused of stealing over 100 million US dollars from a Chinese state company.
Ren is on Interpol’s wanted list.
The Team Unity government says it cannot hand him over without due process.
However Martin, the Deputy political leader of the St Kitts Nevis Labour Party, says the matter goes beyond politics and has serious implications for the federation, and must be given priority attention by the government.
“What we would have heard is politics, politicking, and this matter is way beyond politics at the moment, this is a matter that is affecting the economic core of the federation of St Kitts and Nevis. The request was made last year and this government refused to do absolutely anything about it. This matter is a matter that is at the hands of the present administration and they must do what is right to ensure that they respond in the way that any good and reputable country would respond to a request from an international agency such as Interpol.”
Prime Minister Timothy Harris, speaking on Sugar City FM Monday, accused the former administration of having been informed by Interpol in 2014 about the Ren situation, but sat on the matter instead of dealing with it.
“In 2014 Interpol formally advised the Denzil Douglas administration that the suspects, if you will, were coming to St Kitts and he ought to have taken action. Douglas ought to be ashamed of himself to now to be coming talking about these same persons, for if there was anyone who harboured them it would have been the Denzil Douglas administration.”
There have been reports that the Chinese government could act against the federation’s citizenship by investment programme because of the government’s handling of the Ren Biao affair.
Speaking on Kyss FM radio Tuesday (May 9), Former minister Martin urged the government to move to ensure that does not happen.
“Because of the lack of interaction with the Chinese government on this matter, via whom they might have sent an emissary to deal with this matter, they have come up with a new idea to move against a number of agents for the CBI programme who are based in Hong Kong and to me, this is a very, very serious matter and the reason why it’s a serious matter is because we would appreciate that the economy at this moment and over the last couple of years has been based on the CBI programmes and over the last year, maybe two years we would have seen a serious reduction in the amount of applications that have been made in this programme. The majority of persons who have been making applications thus far are the Chinese and if the Chinese are threatening to close down those operations in Hong Kong, it’s become a serious problem for the people of St Kitts and Nevis” Martin said.