Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 18, 2023 (SKNIS): Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Garth Wilkin said his office examined and made effective changes to the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme’s legislation on the 23rd of December, 2022 to remove loopholes exploited by property developers.
During the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on January 18, the Honourable Attorney General said, “What developers are required to do now, is that they have to place money received from the sale of real estate units into an escrow account and the administration of the citizenship by investment programme will now monitor the progress of the project such that a developer does not sell 20 units for example and not build anything.”
“What will happen now is that the money will now go into escrow and when the developer has now proved that for example, they have finished a foundation, then a certain amount of money will be released; if they prove that they have reached the roof stage then a certain amount of money will be released,” he said.
The Honourable Attorney General stated that there is also a new element of regulations set up to monitor the distribution of units processed.
He said, “For example, if you were a developer and you believe that you can sell 1000 units or 1000 buildings in your real estate project, you will not be given access to sell those 1000 units at the beginning of your project like was done in the past, what you will do is you will be given a certain amount of units, for example, 50, you would be able to put those on the market and until you complete a certain phase of your construction, you will not get the next 50, so there will be a staggered approach to the actual issuance of the units that you can sell on the market.”
He said that all of this was done to prevent what has occurred in the past where real estate developers were selling off plans and building one part of the project and not completing it in its entirety resulting in what he termed “white elephants”.