Government: False allegations against developer latest attempt to destabilize St. Kitts-Nevis economic activity
From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Unknown sources are attempting to destabilize the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes within the OECS region by tarnishing the reputation of a well-known real estate developer, Mohammed Asaria, the founder of Range Developments.
Asaria, whose company is responsible for developing Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour and the Cabrits Resort in Dominica, was forced to respond to allegations being purported that he had been arrested and detained in China on suspicion of illegal fundraising. Asaria has since vigorously rejected those claims and promised to pursue “the highest possible damages” in court against those responsible.
Right here in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Team Unity government has had to grapple with several attempts by the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led Opposition, the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, to destabilize the country’s CBI programme and undermine the economic growth being realized under the Team Unity administration.
One of the first attempts made by the Opposition leader to derail economic activity in the federation came in July 201 when he wrote a letter to the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) asking that it withhold funding for the construction of the second cruise pier, which is a major capital project expected to create hundreds of jobs and inject millions into the local economy. That unpatriotic attempt by Dr. Douglas has since amounted to nothing, as work on the US$48 million capital project is now underway.
Furthermore, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris has on several occasions vehemently accused Dr. Douglas of acting on behalf of another country’s interests by promoting the citizenship programme of the Commonwealth of Dominica in lieu of St. Kitts and Nevis’ own CBI programme. This came after it was disclosed that the Opposition leader filled out an application form and was issued a diplomatic passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica, which describes Douglas as a citizen of Dominica and which he has used to travel. That matter is now before the High Court after the attorney general initiated legal proceedings to have Douglas disqualified from the Parliament for being in violation of the Constitution.
The attorney general is seeking a declaration from the High Court “that since the election to the National Assembly on Feb. 16, 2015, Dr. Denzil Douglas is disqualified from being elected as a member of the National Assembly and was accordingly required to vacate his seat in the National Assembly by reason of his becoming a person who by virtue of his own act in accordance with the law of the Commonwealth of Dominica, under an acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state, namely, the said Commonwealth of Dominica.”
Asaria has since reiterated his intention to continue his work within the region, stating “I won’t let this distract from our efforts to build world-class projects in the Caribbean.”
Range Developments is leading the development of the luxurious Six Senses resort at La Vallee, which is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2021.