Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, November 11, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO) – In a recent LinkedIn post, the senior writer for the IMI Daily blog, Mr Christian Henrik Nesheim, admitted errors in the blog’s reporting and false statements attributed to the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrrance Drew, in a November 8, 2023 post. IMI Daily acknowledged that the false information was sourced from a local opposition-sponsored political blog, SKN Times, and promptly corrected the misinformation by amending the offending post.
“I took the reports from Saint Kitts & Nevis Times at face value. They turned out to be fabrications. While I always strive for accuracy in reporting, I slip up from time to time, and I think it's important to admit as much when I do”, published Mr Nesheim.
IMI Daily, noting their mistake, published an official statement: “Following a conversation with Saint Kitts & Nevis CIU head Michael Martin, we have learned that some of the statements we quoted from the Saint Kitts & Nevis Times - notably those relating to purported direct quotes from the Prime Minister - were fabrications. We have, therefore, updated this article with the incorrect statements removed.”
Published on November 8, 2023, the misleading posts suggested that the Citizenship by Investment Unit faced significant challenges and that the CBI Program was on the brink of closure, potentially causing a financial crisis. IMI Daily quoted extensively from the SKN Times blog, incorporating false statements attributed to Prime Minister Dr .Drew.
Following the Prime Minister’s response in a St. Kitts Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) publication titled “Prime Minister Rubbishes Maliciously Misleading Reports on the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship By Investment Programme and Economy", IMI Daily recanted its statements and edited their article.
The Prime Minister strongly refuted the baseless allegations and emphasized the Government’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program and the trust in the Federation's economic stability.
The Prime Minister vehemently denounced the SKN Times blog as an “unscrupulous mouthpiece of the opposition”. He highlighted the external blog's extraction of “politically motivated lies” and fabrication of statements he never made, considering it an offense to responsible journalism and democratic principles.
Contrary to the misinformation, Prime Minister Dr. Drew affirmed that the CBI Program is not facing closure. Head of the CIU, Mr. Michael Martin, reported an increased interest from serious developers following the July 2023 amendments to the Citizenship by Substantial Investment Regulations.
During the Prime Minister’s Press Conference with Cabinet Ministers on November 7, 2023, Prime Minister Dr. Drew assured the public that security measures for the CBI Programme have been strengthened. He outlined plans for additional security layers, emphasizing the commitment to the due diligence process and the programme's upgrade.
“We have not laxed our security measures. As a matter of fact, we have strengthened them and we have added a new layer of security, a second layer, and we are going to add a third layer in short order,” he stated.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew highlighted that an international security office has been established to actively monitor the status of individuals granted St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. He expressed confidence that these enhanced security measures would boost international investor confidence and further establish the Federation as a responsible member of the global community.
He added, “our first thrust was to upgrade the programme, making sure all the necessary security measures are in there so that we say to our international partners in the UK [United Kingdom], the EU [European Union], or wherever they are that St. Kitts and Nevis is serious about that. As you can now see that St. Kitts and Nevis is the only Caribbean country that I know of that just recently got visa-free access to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is done after an assessment is done and it is determined that our country is safe to have that type of relation with, and that is a significant foreign policy win for St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis reiterates its dedication to protecting the country's reputation and is committed to enforcing ongoing efforts to innovate and bolster the Citizenship by Investment program's due diligence processes.
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