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St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation that drew the ire of the Team Unity Administration while in opposition is still being actively investigated according to Attorney General Vincent Byron. 

“As recently as Monday (May 8), at our last cabinet briefing, we had a report from the current caretakers at the SIDF in relation to matters relating to Kittitian Hill and to Christophe Harbour, so there are active ongoing investigations not just in terms of any potential criminal activity but also in terms of how to make corrective actions to significant investments that have been made in this country under the last administration that have gone off the rails.”

In December last year Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris reported that the SIDF was in essence the majority shareholder of Kittitian Hill with an investment estimated at over $78 million dollars or a 90 percent equity interest.

He also reported that the SIDF had recovered close to US$4 million in interest and principle payment of its more than US$16 million dollar investment in Christophe Harbour.

SIDF invested the money for 30 percent of the   shares in the multi- million development project located in the South East Peninsular on St Kitts. 

The SIDF was also declared as a slush fund acting on the dictates of the Dr Denzil Douglas -led administration, that lost the February 2015 general election without parliamentary oversight and no reporting of passports issued through that programme. 

Wednesday (May 10), in response to a question from the media at the Prime Minister's s press conference, Mr. Byron also spoke about investigations in the issuance of passports under the past administration.

“You mentioned the passport sales, that too, there has been significant investment into that. We understand that there have been reports made by the Prime Minister as recently as March, that we have had the Canadian Bank Note organization in Canada who produces passports and who manages the use of our passports that some 15,197 passports were issued between the date January 2012 until April 2014 where there was no place of birth field in any of those. All of those, every single one of those passports, have been deactivated and there was a demand for any holder of that passport to come and reapply to get to exchange their passport for them to be re-issued with the proper place of birth field. We are still yet to get any sort of report as to if there was illegal sales of passports, that is also an ongoing investigation at hand.”

 

Clive Bacchus
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