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HomeNewsRegional NewsSt. Lucia: Hilaire defends CIP programme, announces international audit

St. Lucia: Hilaire defends CIP programme, announces international audit

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St. Lucia (Loop) – Investment Minister Dr Ernest Hilaire addressed the nation on the Citizenship by Investment Programme on Wednesday night.

Hilaire reacts to MSR Media’s Philippe Martinez’s allegations about the number of CIP applications approved and about a Chinese due diligence firm, alleging that the previous administration had dealings with such a firm: “From July 2021 to March 2024, the CIP Unit in Saint Lucia approved two thousand and forty-seven (2,047) applications of which 1,367 were Real Estate for Caribbean Galaxy Resort. Contrary to what Mr. Martinez has said in a publicized interview and repeated by Allen Chastanet and the UWP, Saint Lucia has never approved 14,000 applications. I want to repeat that Saint Lucia has never approved 14,000 applications and there is no $ 1.4 billion. We have only approved one thousand, three hundred and sixty-seven (1,367) real estate applications for Galaxy!! That 1,367 applications cannot, in any mathematical calculations, equate to $1.2 billion or $1.4 billion. You can do the math for yourself. So contrary to what Mr. Martinez said last night, the Saint Lucia CIP Unit has never collected or given anyone $1.4 billion.

Let me explain how the real estate option works. An applicant who wishes to become a citizen through investment in real estate must first pass all the rigorous due diligence requirements, be approved then purchase shares in a development at the minimum stated price which in Saint Lucia is US$200,000. That money is paid into an escrow account which is the developer’s money and not the Government of Saint Lucia and is to be used for developing the resort in accordance with the approved development plan. In addition, the applicant pays the Government an administration fee for each application.

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