Chinese fugitive has Canadian residency, St Kitts-Nevis passport
By Caribbean News Now contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts — On the heels of the recent withdrawal of visa-free entry to Canada for nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, apparently because of concerns over its economic citizenship programme, questions are now being asked about the integrity of Canada’s own investor visa programme.
As pointed out by regional officials, “Canada’s residency programme has allowed an alleged criminal embezzler to enter and remain and also to travel freely.”
On Saturday, an alert was generated by the regional advance passenger information system (APIS) in relation to a Chinese national with a St Kitts and Nevis passport departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Canada on WestJet flight WS2738 and transiting through the V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) in Antigua en route to St Kitts.
Chinese national Xianbin Li (49) was identified as the subject of an active arrest warrant in China for fraudulently obtaining bank loans and embezzling money from his own businesses totaling US20 million.
His US visa has reportedly been revoked and he was denied a replacement visa; however, he has landed residency in Canada through an investor visa. He also owns a company that is known to facilitate the immigration of other Chinese citizens to Canada.
In accordance with standard requirements, Xianbin Li was interviewed on arrival in Antigua and subjected to a comprehensive baggage inspection. However, since he was traveling on a St Kitts and Nevis passport, he was allowed to proceed to Basseterre.
The St Kitts and Nevis and Canadian governments have both been requested to comment.
This is the second time in recent months that the issue of a fugitive Chinese national holding a St Kitts and Nevis passport has arisen.
Ren Biao, who is accused of the theft of more than US$100 million in China and wanted by the Chinese government, is still in St Kitts and Nevis, reportedly awaiting a federation passport that he submitted for renewal.