Monday, January 22, 2024



Unless it is overhauled, deep cleaned and disinfected Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI)program will continue to be regarded as a cesspool for criminals. The frontline criminals are themselves the custodians of the program; that is the politicians, their cronies and lackies. Other criminals include agents profiting from the reckless selling of passports, the roaming crooks looking to purchase Dominica passports to facilitate unlawful activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing and the due diligence agencies with constricted vision.

 The custodians who have reaped unimaginable and verboten wealth from the crime infested CBI program will continue to scapegoat everyone else but themselves for the now ill-reputed and battered CBI program.  They discharge their spin machinery to try to convince the public to ignore the many years of shameful reports on the program yet behind closed doors they scramble to the inescapable demands from the EU and US security agencies for the cleaning up the program.

We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying.

Many may have seen a very recent letter from the director of the CBI program to all the authorized CBI agents. The letter states that as of January 19, 2024 the Government of Dominica is no longer selling passports to Yemini nationals. The government will never tell us why this action was taken but one thing for sure, had there been any reports about the unscrupulous selling of passports to unsavory Yemeni nationals, the government and their apologists would deny the report and denigrate the messengers and even label the messengers as terrorist.  

 Here is what is known about Dominica Yemeni nationals and the Dominica CBI program. Some very prominent and shocking Yemeni names involved in the program include Omar Sweid, one of the owners of a Yemeni exchange company Sweid and Sons Exchange CO. According to the US department of treasury Sweid was one of the key financial channels that contributed to transferring funds from the Iranian Quds Force in Tehran to the Houthis in Yemen.

It is also alleged that Omar Sweid and Ghofran Sweid both obtained Dominican citizenship in 2017. The US alleges that the company they own has been engaged in currency exchange trading activities that facilitates the recovery of misappropriated funds (money washing).

Another interesting Yemeni individual who obtain Dominican passports and off serious concern to the US is one Ahmed Abdullah Saleh Neshwan.Neshwan had been identified as an alleged suspect in the hijacking and blowing up of Brillante Virtuoso oil ship in the Gulf of Aden in July 2011.

Ibrahim and Malak Abu Lahoum are also two other very interesting Yemeni individuals who obtained Dominica passports in 2017.  Ibrahim Abu Lahoum, was the Director of the Gas Division at the Yemeni Ministry of Oil from 2006 to 2009. His name appeared in the Paradise Papers with registered offshore companies. One in Malta called SECURITY RISK MANAGEMENT LIMITED.

Malak Abu Lahoum to date faces several lawsuits in the United States. How did the multi  layered due diligence system miss this?

One element of the Dominica CBI program that seem to operate under the radar is the CARICOM IMPACTS agency. CARICOM IMPACTS which is part of the Regional Frameworks for crime and security is mandated to conduct due diligence on all CBI applicants and that is done through its sub agency the Joint Regional Communication Center (JRCC). The investigation supposedly done on every CBI applicant include document verification on passports, address, profession, employment, business ownership, source of funds, litigation, bankruptcy, regulatory and law enforcement checks with media and internet searches. We are told that a reputational risk analysis is supposedly done on every applicant; the emphasis to protect the CBI program.  The JRCC will also assess and report on any applicant with political exposed status.

The Barbados base JRCC should declare its position on what is clearly a severe breakdown in the CBI applicant vetting program. It is unacceptable that when asked to comment on the CBI due diligence fiasco that the agency offer “Zipped Lip / No Comment response). It is only fair to ask whether the JRRC and it’s staff have been compromised in any form by the largess and crookedness within the CBI program?

It is time to turn the lights on the CARICOM IMPACTS agency and demand some answers regarding their role and responsibilities in dysfunctional CBI due diligence program particularly in Dominica.

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