Setting the facts straight on the recent The Guardian series on Vanuatu passports

FCA chairman Martin St-Hilaire recently commented in IMI Daily on a newly-published series by British newspaper The Guardian about Vanuatu’s citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programme. Presented as an in-depth investigation, the three-part series examined a number of high-profile individuals who attained Vanuatu passports and went on to question the CBI system’s vetting procedures. 

We felt it was important to correct some allegations and highlight the fact that the alleged wrongdoers among the programme’s selectees all did, in fact, meet the strict compliance requirements of Vanuatu’s CBI programme at the time they applied. Further, these individuals have yet to fall in the scope of regulatory guidelines that would result in the revoking of their citizenship.

“Like many of the other CBI programmes around the world, Vanuatu’s includes a careful vetting process in order to avoid issuing criminals passports with a passport, including a thorough check of criminal records worldwide.” St-Hilaire said. “Every single applicant goes through a redundant vetting process with three of the country’s most robust institutions — FIU, COC, and NBV.”

The FCA would also like to congratulate Ronald Warsal, the chairman of the Vanuatu Citizenship Office and Commission, and Floyd Mera, director of Vanuatu’s Financial Intelligence Unit, whose comments were featured in the Guardian piece and who both did a fantastic job of defending the CBI programme. They retorted point-by-point with the utmost professionalism and integrity, ultimately giving a clear view of the programme and its requirements.

Read the series on Vanuatu passports in The Guardian

Read the FCA Chairman’s commentary in IMI Daily