The government of Dominica has moved to strengthen the integrity of its citizenship by investment (CBI) program. In a letter dated October 11 it warned marketing agents against misleading the cost of investing in the country’s citizenship-by-investment program.

Emmanuel Nanthan, head of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), accused some agents of using text message promotions that deliberately misrepresent the cost of investment to appear lower than the official government fees.

He said that the fees of the Dominica CBI program are mandated by the law and regulations of the country, and the government would take swift action against any agents that continue to misrepresent this offering.

“The industry is too important to our country and for our rebuilding after hurricane Maria for us to encourage anything that will bring it into disrepute,” he said in an interview. “Besides the fees are stipulated by law and that’s what we have to adhere to.”

The government of Dominica has one of the most successful CBI programs in the world. It has been widely praised for helping the country recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Last year it received nearly 2,000 CBI applications and is expected to contribute about 50 percent of government revenue over the next 12 months.

“Hurricane Maria wiped out the equivalent of EC$3.51 billion or some 226 percent of our GDP,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told Parliament recently.

The government is taking stern action to ensure that the program is not diluted or abused.

“The aggressive marketing and deliberate misrepresentation will not be supported by the unit and [we] advise all agents to review their marketing paraphernalia to ensure it is in line with government directives,” the letter said.

It reiterated the rules that to qualify for citizenship of Dominica under the real estate option investors must buy authorised property to the minimum value of $200,000.