Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
People are talking about the corruption of the ruling elites in Dominica though but searching the internet would evidently prove, Dominica possibly is the only country in the free world, news about which in the media or internet is very rare. Is that just because of a lack of awareness or absence of vibrant media in Dominica? Or is it because of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s ability in buying the voice of media and using it in his favor?
One of the most controversial issues centering Dominica was its Golden Visa scam.
Among the noted Dominican diplomats who have run afoul of the law are a former Nigerian oil minister, Deizani Alison-Madueke who was arrested in London by the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) on October 2nd, 2015.
According to the BBC report, Alison-Madueke was one of five people being investigated by the NCA as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering. During Alison-Madueke’s term as Nigeria’s oil minister (2010-2015), it was alleged that $20 billion of oil money went missing. There were a number of investigations, including by the Nigeria Senate, of corruption charges against Alison-Madueke. According to the NCA, its investigation of Alison-Madueke had been going on since 2013. While charges failed to stick in Nigeria, and she has denied any criminal activity, it seems to have been sufficient of a red flag for any government vetting her for citizenship, and certainly for making her an ambassador.
Another more recent Dominican diplomat, Alireza Zibahalat Monfared, an Iranian citizen, was arrested and returned to Iran on January 16, 2017. Monfared has been accused of involvement in a sanctions-busting scheme (UN and U.S. sanctions against Iran oil industry) in which he worked closely with another Iranian who was sentenced to death in 2016 for embezzling the Iranian government of some $2.8 billion. Monfared was part of a group assisting Iran to evade UN and U.S. sanctions.
These two cases cited are not rumors; they are facts. The people of Dominica have a right to raise questions about the integrity of their country’s economic citizenship program and in particular, the granting of diplomatic passports to non-Dominicans of whom they know very little, if anything until these individuals are arrested by some foreign country.
No level of strong-arm response will stifle civil disobedience. The result of such strategy, which is really not a strategy, is more unrest which inevitably descends into violence and chaos. There will come a time when law enforcement and security personnel with integrity and commitment to the Rule of Law and good governance will step away from the government and stand with the civilian population. Dominica should not have to come to that. The government has within its powers the means to alter the dynamics and ensure that the people are heard through their elected and non-elected representatives. Calm and reason on both sides of the divide are essential to peace and tranquility which will inure to the benefit of the people and the country, and also to the region.
The queen of corruption:
According to Nigerian Government sources, INTERPOL, the International Police Organization, issued a Red (Arrest on Sight) Notice in December 2018 against former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke, believed to have been the PEP who stole more of Nigeria’s oil wealth than any other government official.
Apparently, an arrest warrant was issued against Diezani on November 4, 2018, by Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court. Nigeria is seeking Diezani’s extradition from the United Kingdom, though she could also be charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom.
The case may have made Diezani the Poster Girl for Nigerian corruption on a grand scale, but it also bluntly served to display the dirty, seamy world of play-for-pay sales of diplomatic passports for all to see. Diezani, who was in the UK and desperate to cheat justice, reportedly contacted Baroness Scotland, who called Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, and ordered him to create a diplomatic passport for Diezani, and fly over to the UK, to deliver it, in exchange for cash. How much money Skerrit had received for participating in this massive corruption scam though is the unknown but inner circle of Diezani claim to have paid Roosevelt Skerritt an amount equivalent to US$ 300 million. The entire dealing was coordinated by Skerrit’s dubious lawyer Anthony.
The international scandal that resulted from Diezani claiming “diplomatic immunity” when British authorities detained her, exposed the fact that bad actors can result buy diplomatic status from the countries of East Caribbean States, and the stink still tarnished Dominica, as well as the other four East Caribbean CBI states that sell diplomatic passports to criminals, off the books, for cash, paid over in a dark alley.
Dawood Ibrahim is a notorious criminal and according to the American FBI report, he is one of the top terrorists in the world. Dawood’s infamous D-Company is involved into transnational drugs trafficking throughout the world and according to information, Roosevelt Skerrit is having a stake in D-Company’s drugs trade, from which he makes few hundred million dollars each year.
Next: Is Deizani Alison-Madueke a culprit or a victim?