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Should our passports come under this much scrutiny?


Tue, Jan 20, 2015

Editor: When I heard Iranian citizens were found with Vincentian passports, I was surprised. As a taxi driver, I encounter a variety of persons who claim they have Vincentian passports. I often wonder how and why they became holders of these passports, but that is for the chief immigration officer to discover.{{more}}

The Prime Minister, Hon Dr Ralph Gonsalves, made it clear that our passports are not for sale and I agree with him. Could we say persons who carry our passport went through the correct procedures to obtain these documents?

The Prime Minister is very critical of the perception that if the Opposition gains power, they will sell passports — it’s a good thing that it’s just a perception.

I have some questions for the Prime Minister… Is there a difference between citizenship by investment and selling passports? What do you think about Dominican Prime Minister Mr Skerrit’s statement that he will consider citizenship by investment? With recent complains about our passports, do you think they are as good as you say? When are you going to take time off to inform us about the passport situation?

The US Treasury Department made allegations based on information they received. Do you think that Vincentians understand the nature of these allegations? After listening to Hon Dr Gonsalves’ response to the US Treasury Department, I am not convinced that we were told about the seriousness of this allegation.

As a holder of the highest office in this country, I am not satisfied with the explanation that was given by the Prime Minister. You need to ask yourself this Dr Gonsalves — are you satisfied with your response?

Vincentians should pay close attention to the Immigration Department and the personnel that work there. Should our passports come under this much scrutiny?

Please take our passports issue seriously.

Kingsley DeFreitas