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Caribbean News Today

ST. KITTS | Opposition Leader calls on PM to resign over allegations of protecting Chinese national

Featured Leader of the main opposition People’s National Movement (PAM), Dr. Denzil Douglas Leader of the main opposition People’s National Movement (PAM), Dr. Denzil Douglas
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 6, CMC –  Leader of the main opposition, St Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Dr. Denzil Douglas has called on Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris to resign as the region and the world await the government’s  next move following accusations that it is protecting a Chinese national who is paying large sums of money for continued protection.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Douglas said that despite formal requests by China, as well as Interpol, to secure the return of Ren Biao, who is also a citizen of  St. Kitts Nevis to face prosecution in China, the Government is refusing to cooperate.

“Prime Minister Harris and members of his government have stated that no formal request has been made by the Government of China. In my capacity as Leader of the St. Kitts and Nevis Parliamentary Opposition, however, I have been reliably informed, through diplomatic channels, that there have indeed been several such requests to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in this regard.

Indeed, I have been further informed that a senior Caribbean Head of Government has been urging Prime Minister Harris to cooperate with the Government of China and Interpol since his repeated rebuffs of these two powerful forces will have dire consequences for St. Kitts and Nevis, in general, while severely tarnishing the reputation of the Citizenship by Investment programmes throughout the region, in particular,” the former Prime Minister said.

Douglas pointed out that the latest media report of on Friday confirms what he has been aware of for quite some time.

“Prime Minister Harris is placing the interests of our country at severe risk. And his rebuffing of China, Interpol, and the media on this matter is not something that any of us can afford to shrug off. The Prime Minister is either terrifyingly irresponsible in the performance of his duties, or he is attempting to conceal extremely troubling truths from us all.”

Douglas – a former Prime Minister, made reference to sources in the Government of China that officials in the current Government of St. Kitts and Nevis have been receiving financial compensation in exchange for their commitment to shield Ren Biao from the Government of China and from Interpol.

“If this is true, this exposes us all to severe and multi-faceted consequences which St. Kitts and Nevis is in no position to withstand. Prime Minister Harris has not heeded the urgings of his fellow Caribbean Heads of Government to cooperate with the Government of China and with Interpol, forthwith. He has stoutly refused to provide a full public accounting of this matter, to revoke the passport of Ren Biao and to do all that is necessary to stem this international scandal. It is apparent that the Prime Minister has something to hide,” said Douglas.

“I therefore on behalf of the Opposition call upon the Prime Minister to tender his resignation and to allow our great country to move beyond the quagmire into which he has placed it,” said the Leader of the Opposition.

In a release on Wednesday, the government said that like all other St Kitts-Nevis citizens, the Chinese national in question, by the fact that he was granted citizenship of the federation in 2013, was entitled to the rights and privileges and protections of any other citizen of the federation as outlined in the constitution.

The statement also expressed concern regarding reports that suggested the young child of the alleged fugitive was interviewed by undercover Chinese police officials in the absence of and without the knowledge or consent of his parents.

It was also noted that the Chinese government had made no formal request to the government of St Kitts and Nevis regarding the alleged fugitive, adding that there is an established legal framework for dealing with the return of fugitives, and the extradition of any citizen of St Kitts and Nevis must therefore be done in accordance with the law.

“St Kitts and Nevis has no extradition arrangement with China,” the statement noted.

It’s reported that the Chinese national in question is said to have fled China for St Kitts and Nevis in 2010 and was subsequently granted a St Kitts-Nevis passport in 2013 under the then Dr Denzil Douglas-led government.

He is said to be one of six foreign nationals on Interpol’s Wanted List that were issued passports under the citizenship by investment (CBI) programme between 2010 and 2014.

The CBI programme has since undergone a complete overhaul

  • Countries: St_Kitts_Nevis

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