Following the various allegations and accusations, Les Khan has been asked to resign from the position of the Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit by the Government of St Kitts and Nevis. It is reported that many developers shared their disappointment with the performance of Khan.
Originally from Trinidad, Les Khan has been serving as CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit of St Kitts and Nevis since 2015. It comes to light that during the tenure of Khans as CIU’s CEO, the Federation didn’t witness the completion of a single project initiated using CBI funds. Notably, Khan is also accused of taking personal benefits and growing assets in form of properties in countries like the United States, Spain and Europe.
Besides this, he was also involved in the multi-billion and highly controversial prison project under the leadership of former Prime Minister Timothy Harris. The controversy and the involvement of Les Khan received huge limelight during the general elections of St Kitts and Nevis and somehow became the reason for the loss of Timothy Harris’ Peoples Labour Party.
Notably, it has also been reported that Les Khan spent most of his time in the United States rather than in the Unit and was barely present in the Unit in the past 18 months.
The entire scenario has made the newly formed St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party government demand the resignation of Les Khan. The developers and international agents also asked for a thorough investigation into the controversy involving the prison project.
The Government of St Kitts and Nevis asserted that they would never tolerate such behaviours and will ensure the “Platinum Standard of Citizenship by Investment” Programme.
Several industry leaders have appreciated the Government for their move and termed it the best outcome for the country and its CBI programme.
Former Politician and renowned lawyer Dwyer Astaphan also lashed on Les Khan and his partiality towards a particular developer. During a radio talk show, Dwyer said that a few years ago, he expressed concerns to him (Khan) about the transacting of Citizenship applications at that minimum legal investment and in response, Khan said that the department is not itself involved in the details of private transactions.
He continued, “I reminded him of the minimum legal investment, and he was the regulator of the sector, and it was his duty the transactions would comply with the law that got no further, and that was the red flag for me.”
Appreciating the current Government of St Kitts and Nevis, Astaphan stated that the people of St Kitts and Nevis changed the Government on August 5 2022, so it is no longer Team Unity and no longer any private company be allowed to govern this country, said Astphan while hinting at a developer who was favourite under Khan’s administration of CIU.
He added, “Dr Drew’s team have a major issue to deal with, but they have to do so in the best interest of the country. They are dealing with the industry that is become a for locals, a promised land for plunders, and they are dealing with the industry that has become the desert for our people and racists for the select few who are milking us, dry and rubbing us off our patrimony and all of this in our country for our passports.”
“I am enraged as should you have to fix the industry, and a person whom I first referred the one who said St Kitts and Nevis people will forget last week’s commentary by today. That person is one of the plunders who want us to forget it all in a week, who want plunder to continue and doesn’t care if it closes down in three year times because by then, that person will be rejoicing in a luxury home or two or three in far of lands with fat bank accounts,”
He asserted that the conversation would continue until the Citizenship by Investment Programme is brought into full compliance with the law of this land and with global best practices as would be expected from the country of integrity and platinum brand, which they claimed to be in this industry.
Astaphan cited that the conversation will continue until the sector comes into the proper control of the people of the country which is where it is supposed to be, and becomes fully transparent both locally and internationally, giving them the rising concerns over the years, especially over the last seven years or so when great expectations will clearly not shown on the ground.
“The conversation will continue until the present administration works in the future of political and economic stability, establishing the clear legal framework and defining the rights of persons who acquire economic citizenship, such as the right of their spouses and their spouses in cases of divorce, the children, the children’s spouses and children’s children and so on,” he added.
While showing confidence in PM Terrance Drew and his administration, he noted that the conversation will last as long as it saves the CBI and make it sustainable. The new prime minister Dr Drew and his young administration possess the vision, the integrity of the Programme to fix this very serious problem, and they know to fix this problem and sustain the CBI Programme.
Anglina Byron, developed a deep-seated passion for journalism. Anglina is recognized for her tenacity, strength, and unwavering commitment to delivering honest and reliable news across the Caribbean. She covers general affairs of the region.