December 3, 2021

St Vincent diplomat recalled for offering to help source US ‘Green Cards’

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thumbnailFrom Caribbean360

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Saturday February 15, 2014, CMC – Former St. Vincent and the Grenadines Deputy Consul General in New York, Edson Augustus, was recalled last week because he offered to help Vincentians in that city to obtain U.S. Permanent Resident Cards, commonly called “Green Cards”, Foreign Affairs Minister Camillo Gonsalves has confirmed.

“The facts that we have to date indicate that Mr. Augustus was holding himself out as somebody who would be able to assist out-of-status Vincentians in New York with either expediting or facilitating applications for Green Cards and that he would do that for a fee,” Gonsalves told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“That is it. There is nothing to do with passports, there is nothing to do with the sale of Green Cards, there’s nothing to do with the sale of passports, there is nothing to do with a ring, or a syndicate or anything like that. We have no information supporting that,” Gonsalves said, noting that the local authorities were continuing their investigations into the former diplomat’s activities in New York.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday that it had recalled Augustus because of his involvement in “activities outside the scope of his employment and inimical to the interest of the Consulate General and the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Gonsalves told CMC that the statement had indicated that the government was continuing its investigations.

“We are not in a practice of speaking before we have marshaled all of the facts,” said Gonsalves, a former U.N. ambassador.

“Of course, our investigations continue. But as soon as we received confirmation of that fact — that he was holding himself out as somebody who could facilitate these processes — we decided to recall him.

“Why? Because it is not the business of the Consulate General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to engage in immigration advising of that nature or to be an immigration lawyer for anybody or to hold themselves out as having influence over a process that we have no influence over,”  he said.

“None of it was done on Consul premises. It was done on his time, at his residence — but it is not something that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines can countenance in our diplomatic representatives.”

Gonsalves said he could not say how long the investigation would last.

“We have received sufficient information to initiate a recall. We continue to investigate other claims that we hear, but some of them are so wild as to be ridiculous.

“The difficulty we have investigating claims involving out-of-status Vincentians in the United States is that, understandably, many of them are reluctant to come forward on the record.

“So, there are a lot of people who are muttering and whispering that they were done wrong by Mr. Augustus, but when you contact them officially, they say ‘I ain’t saying anything on the record because it might affect my current status.’

“So, the investigation, as you can anticipate, as you can imagine, will have some difficulties in speaking to people, who, by the very fact of their status, makes them reluctant to talk. But we are going as fast as can and as thoroughly as we can, investigating the credible claims against Mr. Augustus and sifting through the many incredible claims that were made,” Gonsalves said.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he had ordered that the salary of the former diplomat be halted because he had not as yet returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as ordered by his administration.

Foreign Affairs Minister Camillo Gonsalves (pictured above) confirmed Deputy Consul General in New York, Edson Augustus, was recalled last week. (File photo)

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/st_vincent_news/1106717.html?utm_source=Caribbean360+Newsletters&utm_campaign=ff82ee1c34-Vol_9_Issue_033_News2_15_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-ff82ee1c34-39393477#ixzz2tOuART5M

 

 

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