There were a few persons in the building with him, but it seemed that he wanted to say something to me in private, so he guided me to a bedroom and seated me in a chair there while he sat on another.
From where I sat, I could see his bed.
And scattered all over his bed, there were, by my quick and nervous count, over twenty (20) documents, all looking like brand new St. Kitts & Nevis passports.
I didn’t examine them, but they looked real from where I sat.
I was shocked. Speechless! And I’m sure he recognized that, but neither of us said anything about the passports. However, I believed then, as I do now, that he wanted me to see them.
This was a man with a deadly reputation. Not too long after my visit, he went overseas.
We had a brief chat about other things, then I was on my way, relieved to distance myself from those passports.
I brought the matter up with a very trusted, wise, and prayerful confidant, who suggested that perhaps certain persons might be trying to test me or set me up, and that I should shut up, and mind my own business.
“See and don’t see, Dwyer; they’re some dangerous people around here”, she cautioned. And that was the end of it, until a few weeks ago when, with all the passport news flying about the place, I decided that it might be time to ventilate.
But while I was, and I still am, pretty sure that I had seen the genuine article, and not one, but over twenty of them, on his bed, and while comments that I was to hear in the weeks, months and years following the incident suggested that the man was indeed a seller of passports, I can’t confirm whether there was a deal, and if so, what kind of deal, or who were involved, how he got his hands on those (and maybe other) passports, who was making them available to him, etc., etc.
It was all very fishy, and disturbing. Even scary. And I figured that if I knew, then people in critical decision-making positions must have or should have known. Yet they weren’t saying or doing anything about it, which only compounded my suspicion and discomfort.
How could all of this happen? Could somebody be actually taking up our passports and putting them corruptly in the hands of others for sale? Who could be doing this?
Then not long after that, I was told of a high-level Government employee who was also selling passports. Everybody on the street seemed to know about him. People even said that he built a house, then a second one, out of the passport business.
Yet, as in the first case, no one did anything about it.
And about two years ago, we heard about the Kittitian woman who was involved in an attempt to sell a passport to a Nigerian woman. Nothing was done, except that we heard this disingenuous comment from the authorities that the Nigerian woman chose not to press charges so the matter would go no further, when, indeed, both she and the Kittitian woman ought to have faced criminal charges. In quick time the Kittitian woman was out of here.
Passport criminals were being protected. By whom? And why?
Isn’t the system supposed to protect against criminals?
And now you fast forward to the present when we’re hearing about Mr. Rustem Tursunbayev, a holder of a St. Kitts & Nevis passport, in custody in Canada suspected of massive embezzlement in his home country, Kazakhstan.
And Mr. Alizera Moghadam, an Iranian, entering Canada with a St. Kitts & Nevis diplomatic passport which, the story goes, he says he bought for US$1 million. Douglas moved on January 7th,2013, to appoint Moghadam and get him his diplomatic passport.
And Dr. Arthur Porter, the holder of a St. Kitts & Nevis passport, and appointed on Honorary Consul to the Bahamas on August 16th,2012, sitting in a jail in Panama facing extradition to Canada on major criminal charges.
We have also been told of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, his alleged US$5 million-passport deal, and the fact that he’s wanted in the USA and France.
And what did Douglas do in response to genuine and justifiable expressions of concern over these passport stories, and the potentially grave implications for our country?
Instead of coming clean, publishing a list of all persons who have been issued with diplomatic passports, and trying to clear the air, he once again chose the wrong option and yesterday launched a vicious, crude, cowardly, personal attack on Timothy Harris in the Kangaroo Assembly, loaded with the usual deceptions and distractions, all in blatant violation of the Rules of Parliament, and aided and abetted by his supporting cast of shameless opportunists.
Imagine young people in this country and overseas listening to him and seeing him on TV ranting and raving and the opportunists sitting dutifully and approvingly in the midst of it all. That’s the example he and they are showing. What an utter disgrace!
They demonstrated their unworthiness to sit in those chairs in the Parliament of this country.
He can rant and rave and cuss as much as he likes. The eagles are closing in.
Very recently, a Kittitian woman living in the USA received a letter from Federal authorities telling her that in pursuance of an investigation they’re conducting in relation to St. Kitts, they got into her US bank account. They advised her to change her account number.
She isn’t the target. But the Feds wanted to see if her male friend here in St. Kitts, a person of influence, was passing money through her account. Money from his connections who are of far more interest to the Feds than he is.
The eagles are closing in. And note that I said “eagles’, not “eagle”.