‘The Republic of Vanuatu’, a small island nation, lies on the outskirt of the south pacific ocean consisting of around 80 islands and stretches around 1,300 kilometres. The country has been one of the victims of the global pandemic and natural calamities, leaving it with a contracting growth rate and hassling fiscal deficit.
The International Monetary Fund has agreed on the significance of an economic citizenship programme in the island-based nation. Notably, the country generates 50% of its revenue through the citizenship by investment programme.
Meanwhile, the Government has taken adequate measures to review and re-design the Programme’s structure to ensure that it will help Vanuatu grow economically and provide security and protection to the international communities in numerous terrains. Furthermore, while scrutinizing its risks, the Government has been planning to take decisive action by adopting more robust due diligence and efficient citizenship processes.
Recently, the European Commission has condemned Vanuatu’s citizenship by Investment Programme as it recommended on January 12, 2022, for suspending its visa-free travel agreement because of its inter-governmental due diligence of applications. According to the recommendation all persons who have received their Vanuatu’s passports after May 2015 will not be allowed visa-free travel to European nations.
According to the European Union executive, the nation’s vetting system has been considered risky and lacked screening during applications.
The Government of Vanuatu was already considering it as a chance to clear its image and calm the actions by the EU commission against their Citizenship by Investment Programme by upgrading its regulations for due diligence procedures and by conducting strict vetting of all applicants who have received their Vanuatu’s economic citizenship after May 2015.
Meanwhile, the Government of Vanuatu has issued a piece of a press release on Friday that, “We are planning to strengthen their due diligence for applicants’ application and their verification processes. We are right now giving the exclusive contract to ‘FACT UK’ for scrutinizing and ensuring the complete process of due diligence. The organization will ensure that people who have applied and have received economic citizenship after 2015 are entitled to go through the procedures and investigations set up by the ‘FACT’.”
‘FACT‘ is a UK based organization that employs more than 150 police officers from the FBI, Scotland Yard and Interpol. They are efficient and expert in checking and investigating applicants’ information both online and in-person and ensuring that all applicants must cater to the standards or not.
The ‘FACT’ is one of the top leading global due diligence agencies appointed to cater to solid due diligence service. The Chief Executive Officer of the UK based organization, Kieron Sharp, has extensive experience and have been trained by the FBI Academy. Moreover, he has also worked as Head of economic crime at Interpol, leading a highly qualified team.
The Government of Vanuatu has acknowledged and welcomed the recent appointment as the first endeavour for vetting the CBI applications thoroughly.
Moreover, ‘FACT’ UK has ensured promising extensive checks, proper covering of sanctions lists, open-source reviews, and on-the-ground assessments. It also promises to lead further in IP protection, intelligence, and computer forensics, along with forensic scrutiny and security verification as well.
Meanwhile, the Government of Vanuatu has ensured proper due diligence will be conducted to ensure that only relevant and reputable applicants can obtain citizenship. Therefore, each applicant must have to undergo a critical security check, financial crime, and reputational risks. Vanuatu’s authorities have further assured that no resources will be left alone in the process of due diligence to ensure the safety and security island as well as the international community. The Government is further planning to implement complete due diligence checks upon all the applicants, specifically those granted citizenship after 2015, by ensuring that only reputable applicants have been approved. And if any applicant fails to meet the expectations to complete the due diligence process, their citizenship will likely to be revoked.
Furthermore, the nation has promised to use a multi-layered approach involving numerous entities, involving government-authorized agents, Citizenship by Investment Units, an independent due diligence firm, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies along with partner governments.
Moreover, to conduct a complete review of the Programme and re-establish its protocols, it brings the Programme in line with internationally accepted standards. The Government of Vanuatu has recently appointed a Marketing Service Provider agency, CS Global Partners, to help guide and advise the Government to reconsider and redesign the necessary changes to be made into CBI offering Programme.
The Government authorities further added, “We are happy to announce the significant steps we have taken as a nation to strengthen the application and verification procedure of our CBI Programme. After a lengthy selection process of onboarding strategic partners, we look forward to redesigning our CBI Programme to be highly reputable and recognized globally.”
“We consider the safety and security of all nations as a priority and will not compromise on security checks of applicants looking to invest for being a citizen in Vanuatu.”
Johnson, an alumnus of the University of Arizona and Georgetown University, is a distinguished journalist inspired by his father. His bold personality and commitment to truth have led him to various media outlets and international seminars, showcasing his exceptional skills and dedication to authentic reporting across the United States.