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Millions collected for failed St Mark project

Minister of Tourism Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen – the current MP for St Mark

There is evidence that thousands of dollars were paid by Russians who purchased Grenadian passports to facilitate the failed Shrimp Farm project in Victoria, St. Mark by the Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture (GSA) Limited Company involving the developer Soren Dawody who has not been seen on the island in several months.

THE NEW TODAY has received documentary proof that the Russians also travelled to St. George’s to collect their passports from the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government which indicated that the state had collected monies as part of the project.

The failed Shrimp Farm venture was highlighted in the recent Al Jazeera documentary about the alleged illegal sale of Diplomatic passports by some Caribbean Prime Ministers to raise funds to finance their election campaigns.

One of the documents points to approval being given to 55 applications by non-nationals seeking Grenadian passports as part of the deal for the Victoria project that never materialised.

A source familiar with the project told this newspaper that there were 57 applications for passports which should have seen EC$7.5 million hitting Government’s Consolidated fund at a local commercial bank.

In addition, the developer should have netted EC$41 million for a project which one of the persons associated with it said would have cost approximately EC$8.1 million to get started in Victoria.

Several months ago Prime Minister Mitchell announced that an inquiry would be done to determine what went wrong with the project since monies were received by the investor to do the project.

As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces two letters obtained in connection with the failed Shrimp farm project involving some of the individuals linked to the initiatives including Russians:

Dear Soren,

We received Zhelyabovskiy’s, Terekhin’s and Rumiantseva’s Certificates of ownership of Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture Limited company’s shares yesterday, which is great! We thank you very much for that! Could you also send us the extracts from the register of shareholders, please?

We also have several issues unsolved by now. Maximova’s and Yavtushenko’s families have not still get citizenship of Grenada though they had completed all the necessary procedures. Could you, please, clarify the reason? Why? What is going on?

Further, Zhelyabovskiy, Terekhin and Rumiantseva have transfered all the money, they had to, and have gotten the citizenship of Grenada almost a year ago.

According to the Introducer agreement, signed by Viacheslav Zhelyabovskiy as an Introducer and you as a Director of AKROS Consultants Ltd and a Director of GSA, Ltd, each of these three investors were expected to receive $25,000.00 as a rebate to Introducer within 10 business days of the date of issuing of their Certificates of Citizenship.

Although we had been emailing repeatedly to you and Leo, we still have not gotten that money. We would sincerely like to solve this issue according to our arrangements, when each side of the agreement has to do what it promised.

We do not want to file a claim with a court, but we will be forced to, if you avoid us and we do not find a solution together.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Hi …(name withheld)

We have taken our passports and after that I showed town to my wife. We have been walking more than four hours and feel ourself very tired. Is it suitable for you to have meeting with us tomorrow? What time? Write me please and we will wait you at the reception.

Have a good evening.

GSA was promoting itself as a project that will concentrate on sustainable shrimp farming and was endorsed by the Mitchell-led government as an approved Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Project.

It said in a brochure: “Our environmentally friendly approach to aquaculture can offer significant economic growth in a new industry that will diversify the economy. Our goal for this project at maturity is to substantially add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Grenada while creating more than 400 new local jobs.

“Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture is building a Recirculating Aquaculture System, also known as RAS or Zero Water System to produce Jumbo, Extra Jumbo and Colossal Shrimp with exquisite flavor, using no antibiotics or chemicals; all the shrimp is natural.

“This production will initially start with Pacific White Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, but may further diversify into other species in the future. The shrimp will be sold to regional resorts, the cruise lines and the booming South American market as well as US distributors to capture part of the growing $20.2 billion dollar US seafood import market.

“This effort will require a total investment of around $39 million. After discussions with the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), our goal is to combine $20 million of investor (Government of Grenada and Principals) and CBI funds, and with up to $19 million of OPIC financing, as required, to further compound the return for CBI investors. The proposed plan is tailored to produce a cash flow positive farm in three years, with a minimum return of 6%. Returns will vary somewhat based on the investment phase of the project.

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