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St Kitts revokes foreign investor passports

Published:Tuesday | May 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The St Kitts-Nevis government says it has revoked the national passports given to two foreign investors after they were named in a recent statement by the Securities and Exchange Commission statement in the United States, alleging fraud.

A brief government statement said that David B. Kaplan and his wife Lisa M. Kaplan, had been granted local citizenship under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

The statement said that the Timothy Harris government by revoking the passports underscored its "commitment to the highest level of due diligence and transparency in relation to the Citizenship-by-Investment Programme".

Kaplan is accused of misrepresenting investments and misappropriating investor funds.

"It is alleged that some of these funds were wired to a St. Kitts law firm, to assist them in attaining St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship," said the St Kitts government.

St Kitts maintains that the Kaplans' application was processed after appropriate due diligence checks by a "highly reputable, internationally renowned due diligence service provider" found no evidence of impropriety or illegal activity.

But, based on the SEC's advisory released May 27, the Harris-led government decided "to revoke the passports with immediate effect," the statement added.

Under CIP, foreign nationals are granted citizenship in exchange for making a significant investment in the socio-economic development of the twin-island nation.