Former CIU official explains disparities in figures in reports

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Thomas Anthony, the former Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) said there’s nothing untoward about the disparities in the figures shown in two separate six-monthly CIU reports for 2015.
He said the reason that the numbers don’t add up or correspond, is because applications are not counted the same way as the number of passports issued under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
“An application can be a single person or a family so you can have two people, four people, six people and we have seen up to 13 people in a family on one application. So, if that application of let’s say 10 people is approved, then necessarily 10 passports will come out of that one application. It is not a discrepancy … an application is a family or it can be a single person but more often than not it is a family,” he explained.
Last week, OBSERVER media asked the CIU Financial Controller Casford King to explain the differences but he said he could not do so at the time. He said he couldn’t state whether the figures were accurate without reviewing them. The official further promised he would look into it and get back to the media.
But Anthony, who was the author of one of the reports, noted that it is simply a matter of what and how the figures were presented and anyone who is familiar with the process would understand the compilation.
His comments come just days after the CIU began the first of what it said will be a series of public education exercises to ensure everyone understands the operations and importance of the CIP which is a significant revenue earner for Antigua & Barbuda.
Speaking of the record-keeping process, Anthony said it is important for the CIU to be able to track the number of applications and number of passports issued and these should be reflected in the reports.
It should be noted that the first report only showed the number of passports issued and did not show the number of applications made. While the second report showed the number of applications made but not the number of passports issued.
This would explain what also appears to be disparities in the total sums earned through the CIP.
Meanwhile, Anthony noted that when one compares the number of applications made and number of passports issued to people from middle-eastern countries, the seeming discrepancy is higher and he explained why.
“When you look at China for example you would normally see [a difference] between one and three but when you go to the middle east you will see beyond four and that example I mentioned with the 13 members of a family, that is out of the middle east. That’s the highest number I recall and it stood out, so at the end of the process one application will result in many passports,” he said.
He said there is no upward limit as to how many can be in a single application as long as they fit the categories.
The categories include the parents with grandparents 65 years and older, the children who are 25 and younger and those between 18 and 25 must be must be in full time study with at least six months remaining on their course of study and they need to be able to prove that through documentation from the university. Then there is accommodation for those with illnesses or situations that make them fully dependent on their parents

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