St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The leader of the Opposition Dr Denzil Douglas is responding to the Prime Minister’s statement on the economic citizen Ren Biao who is resident here and is wanted by China for allegedly stealing close to US$ 100 million in China.
Speaking Thursday night on Freedom Radio and Kyss FM Dr Douglas denied the Prime Minister’s charges that the due diligence process that approved Mr. Biao’s application was flawed.
“He seems to be blaming the Labour administration for the issuance of the passport to this Chinese national. He seems to have forgotten that it was his own Attorney General who last week when the story broke, clearly indicated to the world that he had examined the file of the economic citizen himself and was satisfied that all of the due diligence that was expected was pursued and there was nothing found wrong. There was no red flag at all that came up to indicate that the economic citizen had done anything wrong at the time when he was making the application for citizenship for St Kitts and Nevis and was subsequently allowed to have the citizenship.”
He also stated that his office was not contacted by Interpol as declared by Dr Harris.
“Dr Harris also went on to say that Interpol had contacted the Labour government back in 2014, but Dr Harris is very misleading again on this matter to the general public. Interpol does not inform governments, Interpol is an international police organization that speaks to police at the national level. There would be no need whatsoever for the Office of the Prime Minister to be engaged in any kind of dialogue with Interpol. In fact I believe, that the general public would benefit if they understand exactly what is the protocol arrangement. In each country at the national level that is a member of Interpol, there is a designated senior police officer who has been trained and who therefore interacts with Interpol whenever there is a case so to do. In our case here in St Kitts and Nevis the Assistant Commissioner Mercilyn Hughes is that person and was in fact that person that was contacted by Interpol through appropriate and proper correspondence back in 2014. In fact I believe that Ms Hughes if she’s being honest, would have told Dr. Harris that she never contacted the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister’s office.”
The opposition leader also charged that the government failed to properly deal with this issue but acknowledged that a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis must be give due process.
“China has been a market for our investment over the years but China as a member also of the Caribbean Development Bank has made tangible contributions, the Pogson Hospital, built by China because of China’s contribution within the relevant agency in the CDB in order to foster social development in our countries. In Nevis I think there is a school that was built with the assistance of the Chinese. So a part from the economic development that has come as a part of our CBI programme, social development also, we’ve benefited. So that is what I’m saying why even though China is this big country and we don’t have diplomatic relationship with China and even though we are small that does not mean that we will not defend our people, so there is due process, but the due process must also involve a certain step, engagement and the Attorney General is not a part of that due process, it is the court of our country that must determine whether he goes or not.”