THE NEW TODAY has discovered that a relatively unknown 40-year old Pakistani national is the holder of a Grenada diplomatic passport issued by the Keith Mitchell-led administration in St. George’s.
The Pakistani has been identified as Fahad Sultan Ahmed and obtained the diplomatic passport in 2015 – two years after the New National Party (NNP) was returned to power in a clean sweep of all 15 seats in the 2013 poll.
According to well-placed sources, Ahmed is not known to be doing any diplomatic work for Grenada but was still able to land the prized travelling document.
This newspaper is looking into reports that the diplomatic passport was obtained in questionable circumstances by Ahmed.
Press Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, Kisha Grant-Alexander did not respond to questions sent to her email address by THE NEW TODAY on the issue.
The following was sent by the newspaper to Grant-Alexander: “It has been brought to our attention that Fahad Sultan Ahmed, a national of Pakistan is the holder of a Grenada diplomatic passport that was issued to him in 2015. Can you confirm whether this is true or false?
“If true, can you say what is the job description of this Grenadian diplomat and where is he accredited to?
“What has this Grenadian diplomat done for the country since being accorded diplomatic status?”
Miami-based blogger Kenneth Rijock carried a report about three months ago about a businessman from Ukraine who paid US$1 million for a Grenada diplomatic passport that he never received.
The Mitchell government has consistently denied that Grenada has a diplomatic passport selling scheme.
Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that Fahad had been residing in London since October 2009 on an Immigrant Investor visa (Tier 1).
There are unconfirmed reports that an outfit known as Mishcon De Reya helped to facilitate the British visa and that Barclays bank currently holds his assets for fulfilment of the requirements for the Investor Visa.
Fahad is said to come from a very wealthy family with good connections in Pakistan.
A source told THE NEW TODAY: “His father set up a ship chartering business in 1977 – Ocean Services Pvt. Ltd. The current turnover of same is USD 30MM with an annual net profit of close to USD 3-3.5MM.
“The family has benefited from the property boom in Karachi over mid 2000s and Fahad is looking at diversifying their assets outside Pakistan.
“Fahad is the CEO, FS Group and the majority shareholder (70%) in the same. Fahad’s sister owns the rest of the business. He completed his Business and Accountancy degree in London.
“He moved back to Pakistan to manage family assets and to establish a distribution company in addition to the family’s existing business.
Pakistan has frequently been accused by its neighbours India and Afghanistan, and western nations like the United States and the United Kingdom of involvement in terrorist activities.
Its tribal region along the border of Afghanistan has been described by western media and the United States Defense Department as a “haven for terrorists”.
According to an analysis published by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution in 2008, Pakistan was, “with the possible exception of Iran, perhaps the world’s most active sponsor of terrorist groups… aiding groups that pose a direct threat to the United States.”
The issue of non-nationals obtaining Grenada diplomatic passports was addressed by Barbadian jurist Sir. Richard Cheltenham who was invited by then Governor-General Sir Daniel Williams to conduct a one-man Commission of Inquiry into the Switzerland Briefcase scandal involving Prime Minister Mitchell back in June 2000.
Sir Richard recommended that non-nationals should only be given official passports and not diplomatic passports.