Citizenship by Investment Program security challenges

February 7, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

By

Ricardo Swire

Another Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Program’s (CIP) participant is front and center in clandestine activity. The spotlight is focused on Xiao Jianhua, a 45 year old Chinese male billionaire, who is a Canadian citizen with a legitimate Antigua & Barbuda diplomatic passport.

In the recent past an Iranian was arrested carrying a Dominican diplomatic passport. The prestigious travel document allows the holder free and unencumbered movement from one country to another, its status usually given to nationals on high level government business or attached to the embassy or consulate.

The diplomatic passport alerts a foreign country’s internal security agencies that the bearer is on political business and should not be detained for any reason except safety. Immediate family of diplomatic passport holders also qualify. In 2015, Jianhua, the Antigua CIP participant and owner of Tomorrow Group LLC, a registered holding company, was appointed Antigua & Barbuda’s ambassador-at-large until August 2016. Tomorrow Group LLC dabbles in the coal, cement and real estate markets, one senior executive a Master Certified Mortgage Banker.

The Group’s billionaire boss is considered a local prodigy, with strong connections to China’s First Family. At 14 years of age intellectual brilliance gained him entrance to the prestigious Peking University in Beijing. In 2012, after a Bloomberg News expose about China’s First Family’s riches, Antigua’s ambassador-at-large Jianhua purchased highlighted First Family members’ shares, a strategy to divest and camouflage other financial holdings.

Over the years he performed “deal maker” roles for China’s leaders and elites. In 2013 Tomorrow Group’s top executive purchased shares valued at US$2.4 million, in the President’s sister and husband’s private investment company. In 2014 a former Chinese leader’s son-in-law was beneficiary of a lucrative deal, facilitated by the same private firm. In 2016 the credited Hurun Report calculated Antigua’s CIP participant’s personal fortune as Renminbi 40 billion or £4.6 billion.

Not long ago the self-exiled billionaire lived in one of Hong Kong Four Seasons Hotel’s luxury apartments. During the latter part of January 2017 the hotel’s security CCTV recorded footage of unidentified Peoples Armed Police officers escorting Tomorrow Group’s owner through the lobby. Reports suggested the high profile detainee was transported to mainland China.

On January 24, 2017 two notes were posted among Tomorrow Group’s “WEChat” electronic messages, apparently by Xiao Jianhua. The first statement denied he was taken from Hong Kong to mainland China. The second added he was “recuperating abroad” and would convene a press/media conference soon. Proven to be bogus, both posts were removed. The propaganda messages were conjured up to confuse the media and distract from the billionaire’s extended absence.

Hong Kong Police documentation of January 27, 2017 recounted how the 45 year old Antigua & Barbuda ambassador-at-large entered mainland China via a border crossing. The following day he was officially reported missing. Antigua & Barbuda’s Prime Minister reacted to the CIP participant’s mysterious national security scenario, with a public announcement about the Caribbean Twin Island State’s possible diplomatic passport withdrawals. The PM alluded new Antigua & Barbuda biometric diplomatic passports would be issued, utilizing a revamped policy. Intentions to formally publish names of individuals issued such category passport mentioned.

Chinese national financial records verify Tomorrow Group LLC’s massive holdings on mainland China. In the recent past China’s Ministry of Public Security dealt with similar Chinese billionaire disappearances that caused local stock market confusion. In 2014 China’s President introduced the National Security Commission which he personally leads. China’s President is characterized by an extremely aggressive anti-graft campaign.

His ongoing hunt for “tigers and flies” concentrates on punishment of senior officials and executives, regarding offenses such as financing extravagant banquets with public funds and the use of government vehicles for personal transportation and private gains. During December 2015 the Chairman of an international group that functions as an investment company vanished. The same year a 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Representative disappeared for a few days then resurfaced. In 2016 the Chinese textile billionaire, a featured fashion label owner, disappeared after detention by Peoples Armed Police officers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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