Asadullah Khalid, former Afghan Intelligence chief is accused of human rights violation who has citizenship of Dominica which was granted to him through CBI (Citizenship By Investment Program).
Dominica is being targeted by OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) of providing citizenship to the wrongful people by just taking a handful of persons into consideration.
The report from OCCRP portrayed US as a critique of CBI by missing all the facts and figures regarding the connections of Khalid with a country like the US. Now, the question arises, “Is OCCRP misleading Dominica?”
Interestingly, all the evidence are projecting the answer “yes” to this question. The justifications to this are:
- The report did not mention the relations of Khalid had with US, when he was connected to the US in late 1990s from the times of Taliban resistance. It is even believed that he had strong ties with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) during that time.
- Even Barack Obama, former US President had visited Khalid in 2012 when he was in Virginia hospital which is also not added to the report.
If these things are not stated in the report, how can the report be unbiased and how can the US be declared the critique of CBI programme, when the US itself has shared the relationship with the accused man who has availed Dominica’s Citizenship through CBI. Also, Khalid is accused of human rights violations, regardless of any formal charges.
The report by OCCRP is not only deceitful to this limit but has also tried to criticize the small country by other means. The OCCRP in their report emphasised on the availed 7700 citizenships since 2007. However, the count of approximately 260 revoked citizenships from them was not recorded anywhere in the report.
Twenty-six individuals holding the citizenship of Dominica through the respective programme are being questioned on having corruption or crime connections directly or indirectly. OCCRP even failed in identifying them from all the 7700 people. The possibility even arises that these 26 may be from the revoked 260 citizenships.
Noticeably, all the bounces and skips in the report by OCCRP raise the concern of accuracy making it incomplete and misleading.
Another evidence for the same is that the report said, “Until July 2023, interviews were not even mandatory.” This statement cleared the agenda of OCCRP more evidently as the interviews for the individuals applying under the CBI Programme have been mandatory since July 2023. Surprisingly, Dominica was the first country to introduce such an obligation.
Adding to it, the Caribbean region has always stranded with the maintenance of records in paper form, which are known as gazettes which keep the record of people who have obtained the citizenship of Dominica whose access can easily be taken from Dominica’s libraries.
Moreover, the investigation done by OCCRP also stated in the report that second citizenship provides security to individuals who live in nations where the system or law is unequal.
This was stated by mentioning, ”Any government has the legal right to set its own standards on who becomes a citizen. And for many people living under oppressive regimes, a second nationality can provide security.”
The credibility of the questions raised on the reports is a credit to Associate Times.
Turning the table around, the details published by Associate Times last week has said that Trevor Tossy Johnson, a worker of UWP (United Workers Party) was in contact with the delegates of OCCRP. Such revelations make things more suspicious.
There came no chance of putting allegations on Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica for such a long duration. And now, when the worker from the opposition party was in touch with OCCRP, the claims are being posed on the Prime Minister that the funds he has collected from the CBI Programme are to make wealth. Even, this is mentioned completely allegedly.
Likewise, Lennox Linton, leader of the opposition party was seen in a documentary on the CBI Programme on the news channel Al-Jazeera. This is how the party is biting the hand that feeds. All this information makes sense that there might be an influence of UWP in the reports of OCCRP.
Above all, the OCCRP has no evidence to say CBI is wrong.
Christian Henrik Nesheim, IMI Founder said, “Long story short: After months of investigations into the tens of thousands of citizenships historically granted by Dominica, the guardian found 2 individuals who had allegations against them; 3 individuals who obtained citizenship many years before becoming wanted men. A single individual who had a prior conviction and therefore should not have received citizenship in Dominica- 19 years ago.
He appealed to The Guardian, saying, “Please try running a similar investigation on the 827,000 people who received EU citizenship in ordinary ways in 2021 and see if you find the same infinitesimal fraction of criminals.
This reaction made everyone think about the situation and the misleading report of OCCRP on declaring the CBI programme inappropriate.
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.