St. Lucia CIU Denounces Online Claims of CBI Real Estate Fraud as “Incredulous” and “Clearly Malicious”

Over the last ten days or so, a series of posts have appeared on a blog claiming Les Khan – the former head of the Saint Kitts & Nevis CIU – and his current employer Caribbean Galaxy have been involved in “the biggest scam in Caribbean history”. The original blog post from May 19th has since been edited materially, but originally claimed the former CIU boss and the developer had colluded to defraud Saint Kitts & Nevis out of US$2.2 billion by siphoning off the invested capital into personal offshore accounts and absconding with the funds.

Earlier this week, IMI contacted the Saint Kitts & Nevis CIU to enquire as to the veracity of the claims, which at face value appeared dubious both because of the improbable calculations used to arrive at the $2.2 billion figure as well as the observation that the blog had no listed author, cited no natural persons, and provided no direct evidence of its claims. Other posts on the same blog this week claim Khan and Galaxy had perpetrated the same scam with Saint Lucia’s CIP, again without providing evidence.

While the Saint Kitts & Nevis CIU has yet to respond, the Saint Lucia CIU (which also has approved projects from the same developer) yesterday issued a circular categorically refuting the claims.

The CIU said it was “aware of the circulation of an unverifiable, online blog post titled ‘US$2.2 Billion – Biggest Fraud in Caribbean History’ that, among other things, places into question the credibility o the Unit’s real estate developments.”

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The contents of the story, said the CIU, were “incredulous, not factual, and clearly malicious.”

Highlighting the robustness and extent of its due diligence procedures, the CIU pointed out that “Caribbean Galaxy has been an approved developer from 2018, responsible for the development of two luxury, all-inclusive resorts in Canelles on the Southeastern coast of Saint Lucia. Since July 2021, construction has commended with a clear mandate from the Board of Directors to complete within the agreed project timeline. A project team led by a local engineering professional serving as Project Manager has been formed and contracts have been awarded for the various phases of the development.”

The Unit emphasized that it wished to “distance itself from these malicious allegations and assure Saint Lucians that every step is being taken” to ensure the country’s international brand.