ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) — The United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela, has praised Grenada for its effective use of the Joint Regional Communication Centre (JRCC) to conduct due diligence for persons seeking to benefit from its Citizenship by Investment
“Grenada is doing a good job, Grenada is using it more than some of the others,” the diplomat said.
She said that Washington, through its embassy in Barbados, has working arrangements with the islands that offer CBI programmes and that the JRCC in Barbados is the hub for due diligence probing.
“We have working arrangements with the five islands in the eastern Caribbean which have an arrangement for due diligence through the JRCC,” said Taglialatela, who pointed out that all applications in each of the island should be vetted by the JRCC.
The JRCC is part of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and it is mainly responsible for the operations and management of advance passenger information system, which screens passengers entering and exiting through CARICOM air and seaports.
“Some countries are more diligent in doing so. Once they get to the JRCC, it has available to them agencies like Interpol and all the other groups that have information on individuals,” Taglialatela said as she explained the process.
“So, they run all the names through the computer to see if any of them are on the wanted list or identified as people who have done things that are questionable. We then report back to each country what the JRCC has on them,” she said.
The countries will then decide whether to reject or accept the applicant. A review of public records about Grenada’s CBI programme from January 2017 to June 2020 has shown that the cabinet rejected 140 applicants.
The reason or reasons for the rejection were not disclosed.
Under the CBI programmes, Caribbean countries grant citizenship for foreign investors who in return make a substantial financial contribution to the socio-economic development of these islands.
The CBI has been an issue of concern for the United States and the diplomat said that Washington is aware of the delicate balance between concern and revenue earning.
“The USA will prefer the countries do not have the CBI programme but at the same time, it understands the position because it’s putting money into the countries. We understand it as a way to raise revenue,” she said.