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Tax Lawyers Now Suggesting The Caribbean As Havens From Terror, Too

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By ZAID JILANI/THE INTERCEPT

Caribbean nations have long served as tax havens for the world’s economic elite, with many offering so-called economic citizenship where, for large payments, one can simply buy citizenship in their countries.
That can save the 1 percent a pretty penny. Overseas tax evasion costs the U.S. government as much as $100 billion each year.

But now there’s an added wrinkle. At a swanky Washington, D.C., reception for the ultra-rich hosted by shameless Washington fixer Lanny Davis earlier this month, Timothy Harris, the prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, announced that his country would be suspending its economic citizenship program—at $250,000 a pop — for Syrians, ostensibly due to security concerns.

The subtext couldn’t have been more clear. Indeed, CS Global Partners, a British legal firm that specializes in securing economic citizenship for the super-wealthy in the Caribbean and elsewhere, sponsored the reception where Harris made his announcement and used his decision to rebrand these island nations as a “safe haven” from terrorism, as well as a tax haven.

“Dual nationality is, simply, the 21st century’s insurance policy,” Micha Emmett, a global managing director at CS Global, said in a statement. “From visa-free or -upon arrival options for 131 countries to the tranquil experience at the heart of the Caribbean existence, investing in St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica or Grenada grants tremendous benefits while, in turn, supporting the economic developments of each respective island nation.

“At the heel of the recent events in Mali, Nigeria, Paris, Ankara, and Beirut, a second citizenship from a Caribbean island provides indispensable access to a safe haven, while opening substantial business possibilities.”
Davis, a noted Hillary Clinton backer best known for his willingness to take money for services from almost anybody – brutal dictators, Martha Stewart, the Washington Redskins – is getting paid $10,000 a month by CS Global.

According to the CIA Factbook, the U.S. Virgin Islands is the only state or territory under the American flag never to have had an incident of terrorism, either foreign or domestic.

Still, if Republican Senators and presidential candidates are to be believed, the influx of Syrian refugees into the region, specifically through Antigua and St. Kitts, could ultimately prove to be a problem for the region’s reputation as the world’s only teror-free zone.

At least 18 Syrians have gained Antigua and Barbuda citizenship in 2015 since that country first began selling passports in June. In fact, George Georges, a Syrian national, became the first person to attain Antigua &Barbuda citizenship under the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Georges and his family of four, received their naturalization certificates and Antigua & Barbuda passports.

http://antiguaobserver.com/passport-frenzy/

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Syrian national George Georges (right) receives his Antigua passport and credentials this summer.

John McCarthy of the Virgin Islands Free Press contributed to this report.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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