How Do Governments Conduct Background Checks?
November 14, 2016 - Guide
In this two-part series we look at how Governments conduct background checks on applicants for second citizenship.
Telling us more about how the process is conducted is Mr. Les Khan, the head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) of St Kitts and Nevis and a former Director of Due Diligence provider IPSA.
1. What are the main items of focus while performing a background check on an individual?
- The key elements of a background check include looking into an applicant’s:
- Source of Funds
- Source of Wealth
- Criminal History if any
2. How is the background check process carried out?
Governments use third-party independent Due Diligence DD providers who employ a mix of open-source information complemented by on-ground intelligence – this includes fact-checking an individual’s birth certificates at official institutes of record, checking local media reports or visiting business addresses to ensure they are actual operating companies and so on.
There is a third level of checks also applied during the DD process in which an individual is vetted by law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL to ensure that they are not blacklisted for any criminal activity.
3. What are some of the elements that are seen as red flags?
We do the profiling exercise from a number of different angles:
For instance, if a person runs a cash business, we look into their accounts at a deeper level to rule out money laundering activities or terrorism financing.
For individuals dealing in businesses that carry a reputational risk we will do a thorough check – for example, arms dealing may not be illegal but it can be something we do not want to associate ourselves with.
Additionally, for individuals originating from nations with a high score on the international corruption index we dig into the person’s source of funds and source of wealth, bribery allegations, etc.
4. How do you deal with the issue of identical names, especially in the Middle East?
The standard that we follow is the name recorded on the individual’s birth certificate. We do sometimes face the issue of false positives – when people have similar names to those on blacklisted lists. It is then the duty of the DD provider to do a thorough check of facts and details to confirm the correct identity of the applicant.
If any information turns up that questions the character and record of the applicant, the processing agent is notified and offered the opportunity to rebut or explain the information, supported by the necessary affidavits.
In our next post we will explore What Happens if an Applicant Fails a Due Diligence Check.
Interested in knowing more about the process of applying for legal second citizenship? Email [email protected] or call +97145541449 and we will be more than happy to assist. For updates follow PassPro on LinkedIn, Twitter @PassProNews or Facebook/PassProCitizenship
The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua and Barbuda advised that Cabinet on Saturday 29th October 2016 notedRead More