Last Monday, the government of St Kitts & Nevis put out a press release denying the claim that celebrity jeweler Nariv Modi had made a fraudulent application through the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Several news outlets in India have been reporting that Modi, his wife, Ami, and his uncle, Mehul Choksi had all invested a sum in St Kitts & Nevis in exchange for citizenship. The Kittian government is adamant that there is no evidence to support claims of such applications.
From the office of the Prime Minister:
“Citizenship by Investment (CBI) record checks confirm that no applications have been made by or on behalf of these individuals. Immigration records also indicate that none of these people has entered any port in St. Kitts and Nevis. An Interpol report dated Feb. 15 does not list St. Kitts and Nevis anywhere as a country likely to be visited by these individuals.”
St Kitts’ Citizenship by Investment Programme underwent many reforms after the election of Prime Minister Harris in 2015. The government touts its program as “one of the most robust and well regulated in the region” after rolling out a multi-pronged due diligence process that includes a high level of scrutiny through criminal checks, monitoring sanctions lists, and case-by-case determinations in regard to pending legal, regulatory, or political matters.
Since the program’s reforms, St Kitts & Nevis has received industry recognition. The CBI program received the title of “World’s Most Innovative Investment Immigration Programme” at the 2017 Russian Global Citizen Awards Ceremony, much in part due to its effective due diligence process.
As of 2018, the St Kitts & Nevis passport ranks the highest of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on Henley & Partners’ passport index, offering visa-free travel to 141 countries.