Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is concerned about the future viability of the Antigua and Barbuda passport, given the perception that this country is being used as a transshipment hub for trafficking Africans.
Many prominent individuals have publicly stated that the use of the purported “Antigua Airways” to transport Africans here reeks of illegality.
Reportedly, a few of the visiting African nationals have admitted to being told that they could travel to Antigua and then make the onward trip to their destination of choice.
If this is, indeed, a human-trafficking ring, Lovell says, then the country could find itself in big trouble with international agencies and friendly countries.
He says this development could also have serious implications for the country’s passport, since “Antigua Airways” reportedly is a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) project.
Sometime in the not-too-distant future, Lovell says, Antiguans and Barbudans could encounter difficulties applying for a United States visa or attempting to visit other countries.
The UPP Political Leader says the entire African-transport scheme reeks of a scam.
Antigua and Barbuda lost visa-free access to Canada during the first term of the Browne Administration, allegedly because of doubts about the integrity of this country’s passport.