Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter David have both given strong support to an Extradition Bill which will bring into law an Extradition Treaty signed in 2016 between the Governments of Mainland China and Grenada.
This bill is intended to make it easier for Grenada to extradite criminals back to China.
The bill, Extradition Treaty (Government of Grenada and the Government of The People’s Republic China) Bill, 2018 was passed in Parliament last Friday after being presented by Minister of Legal Affairs, Kindra Maturine-Stewart who described the treaty as a mutual arrangement between Grenada and the China.
“Mr. Speaker, the present treaty between the Government of Grenada and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is a treaty which embodies mutual arrangements made between Grenada and China for the sole purpose of extraditing persons from Grenada to China…”, she told the lower house.
“…However, Mr. Speaker the signing of the treaty alone is only a preliminary endorsement of the obligations and arrangements therein.
It does not create that binding legal obligation on behalf of the parties, as a result Mr. Speaker, Grenada is now required to take legislative action to make the said treaty legally enforceable and binding in our domestic laws,” she said.
In his contribution, Prime Minister Mitchell stated that Grenada has a history of dealing with criminal and corrupt individuals who are hiding from foreign law enforcement agencies.
He said: “…Everyone should know clearly that if they commit a crime in most countries that we have relationship with …that Grenada would not be the best place to come – find another hiding place. We would not be the right place to come, it wouldn’t be smart at all…historically we have been a country that has taken this position.
“…Grenada is known to be very firm where these issues are concerned and Mr. Speaker… do not under estimate Grenada’s strong position on issues of criminal nature and extradition of persons committing crimes and getting to here,” he added.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter David pointed out that the Bill will compliment Grenada’s passport selling scheme known as Citizenship by Investment (CBI).
“These issues arise sometimes with our CBI programme, there’s a lot of talk about CBI and persons who not above board. This legislation here is an indication that we are prepared to do everything to ensure that persons who come into Grenada, persons who transact business in Grenada, persons who become citizens of Grenada possibly under the CBI programme, if it is found that they have done something that is against the law of another country, in this case, China, we are prepared to deal with it…”, he said.
“…Only last year, Mr. President, Grenada cooperated with other Caribbean Countries in order to extradite persons, not from Grenada, in other countries, to China and the Chinese government was extremely pleased…and coming out of that…the person I spoke about last year…stole $100,000,000 in China and they were returned to China.
According to Minister David, the signing into law of the Extradition Treaty will send “a strong signal” that Grenada under the watch of PM Mitchell “will do everything to ensure that the scourge of corruption” does not get a foothold on the island.
He said the island’s government is bent on ensuring that “persons who come into our shores, persons who acquire citizenship, persons who do business in Grenada will not leave from where they have committed their crimes to come to us…”.
“… We would do everything to ensure that as we develop, as we attract tons of investment, we want clean, proper investors to this country so that we can develop Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”, he added.
The Extradition Bill is also expected to be passed into law in China.
Underworld figures in China are known to be interested in purchasing CBI passports from Grenada and other islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
THE NEW TODAY has reported in the past about an attempt by a Chinese group to buy 1000 Grenadian passports from both the 2008-13 Congress government of then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and Mitchell’s NNP in the 2013-18 period.