Updated: July 01, 2021


                                    As long as the host is alive, the parasite continues to survive

By H.A. James, Dominica


Prior to the ravages of Tropical Storm Erika on southern Dominican Communities in 2015, no one in Dominica had heard of Montreal Management Consultant Est, MMCE, or so we thought. Unfortunately for Dominica, like any true Con Artist, Roosevelt Skerrit, de facto king of the Dominica Labor Party (DLP) Administration and Dominica was hard at work trying to figure the next crooked deal to get his hand on Dominica's Financial resources. And, like any crook worth his/her salt, Skerrit found another insincere, selfish character, Anthony Haiden to execute crimes against Dominica.  These two characters were handed a crisis which they sought to exploit to the maximum.  Skerrit and Dominica Labor Party secured the access through  cheating and treating to facilitate election thievery and, TS Erika provided the opening and springboard for Haiden to gain access to Dominica's Financial resources via Skerrit.

In 2016, Dominicans were told that MMCE had the Capital to purchase land and build houses for the individuals and families displaced by TS Erika. We now know that was a Big Lie. Firstly, government, rather than MMCE, purchased the land at Bellevue Chopin. Secondly, MMCE did not risk their own funds to build the houses for those displaced by TS Erika. Skerrit was aware of MMCE before 2016, probably as early as 2014. In fact, in a November 2015 promotion of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by investment program, MMCE actively promoted Dominica's CBI program even if this was not expressly stated in the 'promo'.  That 1-year 'lead-time' was allegedly utilized to divert funds to unknown accounts that were later 'named' the MMCE-Housing option under the CBI Program.  These funds served as MMCE resources that were fronted to commence various Projects in Dominica.

According to information provided by this outfit, MMCE, the company was incorporated in Dubai in 1999. However, prior to 2014-2015, very little was known about this entity in the Caribbean region. Once an opportunity presented and, a victim-to-be was identified, that is a struggling country with a potentially lucrative product, like piranhas MMCE and Skerrit sprung into action.  Truth is, without Dominica and its CBI Housing Option largess, MMCE would be a nonentity just wandering in the wind like a light-weight parasite seeking a susceptible host. A quick search shows MMCE had no real estate construction activity before 2015.  MMCE is supposed to be specializing in Immigration and Citizenship Services but, for the past 4 years, seems stuck in Dominica and Dubai? Why? Simply; you go where the money is - Selling Dominican Citizenship in Dubai.

If one reviews the company’s goal in UAE prior to 2014-2015, it was all about immigration to Canada; "... Aim to be the leader in the industry by providing our clientele with the best information, recommendation and assistance concerning immigration to Canada...". Obviously, Canada was not lucrative, so the company refocused its effort on the Caribbean islands selling their citizenship; in particular St. Kitts-Nevis and Dominica.  Interestingly, Canada's Immigrant Investor Program was discontinued in 2014, so MMCE had to find other sources of income.  With Dominica, they hit the jackpot - a crooked, corrupt administration, a devastated economy and a product, Citizenship, to be sold in an unregulated market (UAE). By 2016, MMCE had accumulated sufficient quantities of Dominica's resource to pretend it was 'full of its own money'. MMCE started advertising for project managers, engineers and persons with expertise in project design and development. This is, after MMCE was introduced to Dominicans in 2016 as saviors with deep pockets (Capital Resources) by an unethical and utterly corrupt, shameless human being, Roosevelt Skerrit. MMCE was promoted as builder / contractor / philanthropist and all-round company. The curious question is 'what did MMCE build before 2016?' If they did any construction, it was of no significance. 

MMCE is headed by one Anthony Haiden who has a doctorate in something. One thing is certain, it is neither in ethical principles nor humanities as both he and Skerrit are nothing but opportunist; pillagers of Dominica's wealth.  It is now 23 months since Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, uncovered DLP Administration's misappropriation of XCD $1.2 billion dollars from sale of Citizenship during his presentation of the Official Opposition Response to 2018-2019 Budget in the Dominican Parliament at the end of July 2019. In response to this revelation, the Finance Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit agreed with the underestimation of government revenues for the 2018-2019 budgetary period. During a radio interview, Skerrit surmised that '... the revenues would have been higher by about $1 billion if funds in an hitherto unknown account under the Housing Option of the Citizenship-By-Investment, CBI program and other accounts, were included in the government revenues...' Rather than being outraged by this revelation, DLP cheerleaders including sitting ministers who reportedly knew nothing about this fund, were elated that Skerrit had put the Opposition Leader to shame. In the rest of the Caribbean, folks were amazed that this could actually occur in a CARICOM country. Now, exactly 23 months latter, Dominicans are still waiting for accountability regarding missing funds. Meanwhile, the misdeeds and corruption has not abated. 

Dominicans are now realizing that this case of disappearing Funds was part of a large complex Scheme disguised as Housing Option under the CBI Program, with funds finding their way into an account controlled exclusively by Skerrit and his favorite, go-to investors-developer-fund manipulator at MMCE. In the roughly 2-years since that revelation, both Roosevelt Skerrit and Anthony Haiden of MMCE have become super-wealthy on the backs of Dominica. Most distressing is that many Dominicans remain in a somnolent, stuporous state, oblivious to the massive scam occurring in glaring tropical sunshine. Yes, MMCE delivered Heath Centers and Public Housing but, with price tags of at least 2- fold market rate and Dominicans have paid twice for all these facilities. The total costs of all these projects have been liberally estimated at XCD $ 0.5 -  $0.75 billion. In contrast, within the past 3 years, conservative estimate of income from citizenship sales under CBI range from XCD $2.5 - 3 billion; that is 2-3 times that which has been officially reported by the Minister of Finance. And, we know the cost of all the projects are inflated. For instance, Developers / Promoters of the Kempinski Resort in Portsmouth, constructed with funds derived fromr the CBI Real Estate option, made off with a cool US$80 million (from projected Citizenship sale of US$175 million) even before the project was completed.  According to Skerrit, the MMCE-Housing Option has emerged as the Premier CBI option, and generates more income than the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) and Real Estate option. Yet, Dominicans are in the dark about their monies in the MMCE-Escrow account under the Housing Option!! And, more than 75% of the funds expended in development of the aforementioned projects go to Foreign Contractors.  The projects are awarded to Foreign companies through no-bid contracts and there is no Parliamentary oversight. What a wondrous means of diverting a poor country's financial resources?

Now this - 'The Mother-of-all' schemes disguised as a Billion Dollar International Airport. An International Airport being built with no planning, no environmental impact study, no soil studies, no ecological or social impact studies. If Dominicans are so docile and dumbfounded by a Foreigner (Anthony Haiden) and DLP schemers that they allow scoundrels to continue stealing the state's fund, the stealing will continue. One fact is certain, if Dominicans permit Roosevelt Skerrit and Anthony Haiden to move forward with this No-Bid Contract to construct an "International Airport", the cost to the island will be 2-3 fold the market rate. This is well documented in terms of cost to society for no-bid contract and public corruption worldwide; no-bid contract are a classic approach to making public money 'walk' in mud without leaving footprints. Above all, in the end, both Skerrit and 'Haiden' will walk away with an additional XCD $1-1.5 billion in personal wealth that rightfully belongs in Dominica.

The immediate goal should be to stop MMCE's access to Dominica finances by any and all means. This will disrupt the symbiotic relationship of the two parasites on the host (Dominica). So far, local efforts have failed and regional organization (CARICOM, OECS) have turned a blind eye. The Courts are an option, but very unpredictable especially on key matters that may lead to the most miserable, corrupt  Caribbean Administration having to change its ways or leave office. The critical approaches left to be explored are inputs from International Press and OECD and/or EU nations. These countries are all at-risk from the race-to-bottom sale of Dominican Citizenship to all and sundry. 

Like, Malta and Cyprus, unfettered sale of Dominican citizenship pose a security risk to the  Schengen and Non-Schengen Countries in the EU, the USA and Canada,  Unlike Dominica, Malta and Cyprus both limited the number of Citizenship sold per year under their program and the cost to acquire Citizenship for both countries were significantly higher (Up EU$2 million or greater per Citizenship); Dominican citizenship cost US$200,000 per individual. Notwithstanding, the programs were forced by EU to be shut down or halted because of crookedness and shady business. While Dominica boast access to over 100 countries without Visa, the target of those who are purchasing Citizenship are primarily, Schengen, some non-Schengen Countries, Canada and USA.

It seems that only scoundrels and thieves head to their new Caribbean adopted homeland like Dominica, St. Kitts-Nevis and Antigua-Barbuda. How many of the new Dominican Citizens, 'officially reported' as 5500 for the financial period 2017-2020, reside in Dominica? Because the aforementioned European and North American countries have a collective GDP approaching US$50 trillion, they possess the resources to assist tremendously in reining-in the crookedness in Dominica; concurrently they will be protecting their financial interest and national security. To fix Dominica's CBI program, it needs to be halted, the country's missing monies (>XCD $2.5-3 billion) needs to be repatriated and the criminals who have diverted these funds should be dealt with according to Dominican, Regional and International law. Whether the program is re-launched in the future, should then depend on cleaning up the loopholes that permitted abuse by the DLP regime and, establishing legislative safeguards to ensure this catastrophic maleficence never happens again.

The International Press has previously uncovered hidden monies, for example, through data revealed in the Panama papers. After information was anonymously provided to them, Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, painstakingly pursued multiple leads that all centered on one country, Panama. The consequences of their work and reports have had a purifying influence on governance in many countries throughout the world and in some countries the ramification are ongoing. It is time for Dominicans at home and abroad to enlist these journalists to assist in tracing Dominica's missing billions that are hidden away by Anthony Haiden and Skerrit!! There are creative International Investigative journalists willing to assist countries, like Dominica, which are the target and victims of international criminality. But, the first step has to be taken by victims themselves, Dominicans. It is time for the career civil (public) servants,  Dominicans who know where  the monies in the MMCE-Housing Options escrow account(s) is/are hidden, to enlist the assistance of these talented journalists to blow the vaults and take down dangerous opportunists who are sucking the blood of a struggling people!!!