Government responds to UPP on Sweet Homes project in the UAE
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – March 7, 2015…….The Government of Antigua and Barbuda on Friday responded to a story appearing in the Observer Newspaper of 6th March entitled, “UPP raises fresh questions about Sweet Homes CIP deal”.
Chief of Staff, Ambassador Lionel Hurst, said: “There is no requirement under the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme for anyone to purchase any of the units under the Sweet Homes project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The contractual arrangement with the UAE project is that it can refer persons to the CIP for consideration, and would be paid a commission for doing so in an open and transparent manner.”
Ambassador Hurst emphasized that persons referred to Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) by the Sweet Homes project are required to invest in Antigua and Barbuda, in accordance with the laws of the country, in accordance with the CIP.
He said that there are only three ways in which any applicant could be considered. These are by: (1) investing at least US$400,000 in real estate in Antigua; or (2) contributing US$200,000 to the National Development Fund; or (3) making a business investment of US$1.5 million in the economy. He stressed that: “All applicants for citizenship by investment from the Sweet Homes project who have been successful have paid the full sum of money due under the programme, consistent with the law.”
“It is, therefore, entirely misleading for anyone to suggest that Antigua and Barbuda is not benefitting from the referrals made to the CIP by Sweet Homes”, Ambassador Hurst declared.
Elaborating further on the matter, the Chief of Staff pointed out that it was under the stewardship of the UPP—and particularly Mr. Harold Lovell as Minister of Finance—that the principals of Sweet Homes were introduced to Antigua. “Since then, these authorized principals have been subjected to due diligence inquires and have been deemed appropriate by international clearance bodies”.
With regard to the advertisement by Sweet Homes to which the Observer newspaper referred, Hurst said that the officers of the CIP have requested sight of the advertisement and, if it is in anyway misleading, Sweet Homes will be instructed to correct it. (Ends)