Antigua-Barbuda refutes claim of economic citizenship granted to wanted criminal

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Jabir Motiwala

ST JOHN’S, Antigua — In a statement on Wednesday, the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) in Antigua rejected a claim made by online publications that a person named Jabir Motiwala, also known as Moti and Jabir Siddiq, was given Antigua and Barbuda citizenship “as part of the country’s citizenship by investment programme”.

“The claim is utterly false,” the CIU said, adding that it has thoroughly reviewed its files and confirmed that it has not granted citizenship to anyone by the name of Jabir Motiwala or Jabir Siddiq.

The CIU further advised that it has no knowledge of any person called Kaskar Dawood Ibrahim, or any of his aliases, who is said to be associated with Motiwala.

“The CIU strongly condemns the publication of such a damaging claim [without] verification before publishing it. We are left to assume that the ‘source’ of the claim benefits in some way from smearing Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship by investment programme.

“The CIU will not allow the name of Antigua and Barbuda to be tarnished by opportunists and will continue its strong collaboration with all international partners to preserve the reputation of our jurisdiction,” the statement concluded.

Jabir Motiwala, who was reportedly arrested in London last Friday, is said to be a key aide of the world’s most wanted gangster and terrorist, Kaskar Dawood Ibrahim, who has amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune second only to the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

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