A big scandal has surfaced in St Kitts and Nevis, forcing the government to commence a thorough investigation. The hub of this controversy is the infamous jail project, earmarked to be constructed by the Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation. Recent findings suggest that there is a massive fraud going on in the Caribbean amounting to more than US $2.2 billion.
The government, alarmed by the magnitude of the fraud, will have to scrutinize the mishandling of funds in what was meant to be a crucial infrastructure development project for the country.
Shocking revelations have emerged indicating that the funds originally intended for the jail development project in St Kitts and Nevis have been illicitly siphoned into bank accounts in Macau and Hong Kong. Information divulged by Chinese government sources reveals that the significant sum, rather than being used to boost the infrastructure of St Kitts and Nevis, has been lying idle in offshore accounts.
Acting swiftly on this revelation, the Chinese government has imposed a freeze on these accounts due to unaccountability. A series of pressing questions now hang in the air:
- Why were the investment funds diverted and parked in Macau and Hong Kong?
- Why did these funds not reach their intended destination of St Kitts and Nevis? And most critically, who was overseeing these investments.
- How did such a gross misdirection of resources transpire under their watch?
The spotlight in this colossal fraud case is firmly focused on three principal individuals. First on the list is Les Khan, the former CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit of St Kitts and Nevis, whose role and responsibilities put him in direct association with the investment funds in question.
The second person under scrutiny is Ying Jin, the owner of Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation, the company selected to carry out the construction of the jail project, but has now been implicated in the misuse of the allocated funds.
Lastly, former Minister of Investments is also being examined closely. The position of this government official would have granted them significant influence over the direction and implementation of the funds, and therefore their role in this incident is of great interest to the investigators.
In a shocking revelation, it has come to light that Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation, already under scrutiny, was assigned approximately 5,000 citizenship applications to construct the now-infamous jail project in St Kitts and Nevis. Additionally, they were given another 2,000 citizenship applications for the construction of a Ramada hotel in St Kitts. Each of these citizenship applications had a significant monetary value attached to them, being sold at an average price of US $200,000. Despite this substantial influx of resources, there is no completed jail project in St Kitts and the proposed Ramada hotel is non-functional.
Further deepening the crisis, Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation is now awarded an additional 4,000 citizenship applications in St Lucia for other real estate development projects. Again, each of these citizenship applications was valued at an average of US $200,000, representing a vast reservoir of potential funds. Taken together, the total 11,000 applications amass a staggering US $2.2 billion. However, there is no infrastructural development to show for this substantial investment in St Lucia either. The entire sum of US $2.2 billion, which should have been channelled into these development projects, is now frozen in offshore accounts, leaving a trail of unfulfilled promises and unaccounted funds.
According to attorney Stephane Emanuel, the government of St Kitts and Nevis will now summon Les Khan, the former CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, for an interview regarding the vast scam plaguing the island. As one of the primary figures implicated in the scandal, Khan is likely to face arrest by the authorities. If Khan fails to respond to this summons and doesn’t show up for the investigation, the local law enforcement will escalate the matter to an international level. They will write to Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, seeking the issuance of a Red Corner Notice against Les Khan. This would mark him as a significant international fugitive, urging law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest him pending extradition.
The controversial prison project launched by the former government of St Kitts and Nevis is once again under the radar. As per reports, the EC $3 billion (US $1.1 billion) endeavour, initiated as part of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, has failed to attract any investments.
The lack of investments is reportedly the result of carelessness and corruption carried out by the former head of citizenship by investment unit, Les Khan.
In exchange for the construction of the multi-billion prison in St Kitts and Nevis, the former government granted about 5000 to 5500 CBI applications to Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation. The company, managed and run by China-based Ying Jin is allegedly responsible for selling the applications, and not putting any investment into the escrow accounts. Notably, when a citizenship application is complete, then investment must be transferred into a joint escrow account.
Following the revelation of the scam, the current government of St Kitts and Nevis removed Les Khan as the head of citizenship by investment unit after reports of his involvement with Ying Jing became public.
Les Khan failed to monitor the project, as per reports so far only the government fee was received, while no investment amount was ever credited into the escrow account.
A Lawyer based in St Kitts and Nevis stated that after the charges are filed against Les Khan and Ying Jin, it is expected that the government will involve INTERPOL to issue a “Red Corner” against both of them.