By Kenneth Rijock
I see that one of the Astaphans, the one from St Kitts, has written an extensive commentary seeking to discredit me, claiming that I am an instrument of the Dominican opposition. I am afraid that the gentlemen knows nothing about me and my 25-year career, including trips to testify before US Congress, battling money laundering in its many forms.
Kenneth Rijock is a banking lawyer, turned career money launderer for ten years, turned compliance officer specialising in enhanced due diligence, and a financial crime consultant. His autobiography “The Laundry Man” was published in the UK on 5 July 2012
Perhaps he might like to read my autobiography before accusing me of being a hired gun for certain Dominican politicians. Shoot the messenger appears to be the modus operandi for Caribbean lawyers unhappy with the truth.
I call it like I see it, and let me share my personal St Kitts CBI experience with him and the readers.
The St Kitts CBI program
The year was 1984, when the newly-independent Federation of St Christopher and Nevis, more commonly known as St Kitts and Nevis, unveiled the first citizenship by investment program in the Eastern Caribbean. Again, I was a regular visitor; my attorney was the late William Valentine Herbert, Jr., the foreign minister, UN, US and OAS ambassador, minister plenipotentiary without portfolio, and the founder of PAM, the Peoples' Action Movement.
Dr Herbert briefed me on the virtues of the citizenship by investment program and the ability of SKN passport holders to enter the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, visa free. I took that information to my clients, and soon enough one of them came to my office seeking to qualify and obtain a St Kitts passport.
The passport photographs of the applicants included two individuals whose last name was Ochoa, and who were regarded as “kingpins”, by the US Department of Justice. That did not bother Mr Herbert. Medellín Cartel? No problem; just make the deposits into an escrow account, he advised. I followed his instructions to the letter.
Shortly thereafter, one of the individuals who was an applicant was arrested by the DEA. Dr Herbert, when advised of this incident, said not to worry about the application, just obtain a certificate of good conduct from some local police department somewhere, and submit it.
What I am saying is that the fact that your name was Fabio Ochoa Vázquez was not a barrier to becoming an applicant for a St Kitts passport, according to the country's foreign minister. Had he not been assassinated, reportedly by the IRA, he would have eventually become the prime minister. He did speak for St Kitts.
Fabio Ochoa Vázquez, Medellín Cartel kingpin and Kittitian-in-waiting, is now serving a 30-year sentence in an American prison.