Egyptian Billionaire, Naguib Sawiris and his wife Ghada Gamil Sawiris are among a list of 18 persons granted Grenadian Diplomatic Passports in the past eight months by the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
This information was provided by government during last week’s sitting of the Senate in response to questions put forward by opposition member Dr. George Vincent of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Sawiris is said to be associated with the beachfront property known as Silver Sands.
The Mitchell government claims that it has secured a commitment from the businessman to construct a five-star hotel on the site.
However, some local tourism officials have told this newspaper that the plans being put together entails the building of condos.
The Egyptian was appointed Ambassador Designate to France by Prime Minister Mitchell within weeks of winning all 15 seats in the February 19, 2013 General Elections.
Among the other persons granted Diplomatic Passports by the Mitchell regime includes Derrick James, Honorary Consul General Designate in New York, Danny Fakhre and his wife, Deputy High Commissioner to London, as well as Warren Newfield, Ambassador-at-large for Tourism Promotion and the Mobilisation of Resources, Ian Marsalek, Ambassador-at-Large in Germany for Tourism and Investment Initiatives and Omar Shehadeh, Honorary Consul in Lebanon.
Others are Charles Khoury, Ambassador-at-large for Financial Initiatives, Canada and Maxine M. Khoury, Spouse of Ambassador Francesco Muller, Ambassador-at-large for Grenada in Phuket, Thailand, Xiaoguang Yang, Ambassador-at-Large for Grenada in Hong Kong, for Mobilisation of resources for Culture, Nancy Yunlin Wei, Deputy Honorary Counsul for Grenada in Hong Kong, Pen-Chung Wang, Ambassador-at-Large for Grenada in Hong Kong, Yanxia (Forest) Cao, Honorary Consul for Grenada in Hong Kong; Arnaud Perdrizet, Ambassador at Large and Bachir Debbagh, Honorary Consul.
Most of the former government ministers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration had their diplomatic passports cancelled including former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
Of the former Congress ministers, only three remained with diplomatic passports – Glynis Roberts, Peter David and Karl Hood.
A number of persons were identified as persons with “outstanding” diplomatic passports in their possession – former Government Minister Sylvester Quarless, ex-Commissioner of Police, James Clarkson, former Ambassador, Stephen Fletcher and his wife, Monica Charles-Fletcher.
The list is completed by ex-Senator Arley Gill, now a Magistrate in Dominica, former Grenada Board of Tourism member, Jocelyn Sylvester-Gairy, NDC’s Vincent Roberts, NNP’s Kennedy Roberts, and former Senators Dr. Pemba Braveboy and Devon Rachae.
The Government Side in the Senate also informed the house that a number of diplomatic passports were submitted for cancellation and these included those of former Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean and his wife Lady Monica, and Joan Purcell, the former President of the Senate.