Thousands Lost to Debit/Credit Card Fraud in Grenada 

Businesswoman Dawseanne Williams did not foresee credit card fraud in her future when she made a simple and routine deposit into her local bank using one of its Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in September 2022. 

In her rush to get home, Ms. Williams forgot to remove her card from the machine. Her folly triggered an excruciating episode that played out in a magistrate court where a young female suspect incurred a criminal record for the crime and the stolen returned to the owner. Business woman Dawseanne Williams

“As I was driving home, I began getting automatic bank alerts informing me about the amount of money deducted from my account for transactions, but I was driving home, I knew I was not conducting any transaction, so I stopped the car and checked my purse and to my astonishment, the card was not in my purse,” Ms. Williams recalled. “I had left it at the machine or loss it, it was a Friday night, so my option was to notify the bank but by the time I did I had lost more than EC$2000, and my hard earn cash was disappearing before my eyes and it appears that my options were limited to stop the transaction,” she continued. The bank with whom Ms. Williams has her account states on its website, under loss and stolen card, that it is the responsibility of the holder to safeguard the debit card.


Where CBI Answered an Economic SOS

When the Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme was launched in August 2013, it was believed by many to be the only way to save the island from an economic downfall. 

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell pushed the passport scheme in 2013 as his government battled economic struggles whipped up by the global financial downturn. Government declared that the programme would become a main source of revenue to help develop the island and pay outstanding debt to international creditors and lending agencies. 

The programme offers individuals the ability to buy its passport in as few as 60 days at a minimum cost of  USD $150,000 USD in addition to USD $8,000 processing fees. In 2018, five years after the programme started, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of an overreliance on CBI inflows, noting that the programme accounted for 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2017:

“Further improve mechanisms for monitoring the proceeds of CBI inflows and recording all flows through the consolidated fund on budget to improve fiscal management and reporting,” was a major red flag from the IMF, which also asserted that “strict enforcement of the due diligence process of the CBI program are critical for Grenada’s continued stable access to cross-border bank payments”.(

Source: IM Daily

The CBI program based on projections in the budget estimate is expected to remain a vital earner for Grenada’s economy. Red Flags

By law, the identity of beneficiaries under the programme is a tightly kept secret – just one of the restrictions that raises a transparency red flag for a programme that plays a major role in raising cash and investments to boost economic growth. 

Grenada is just one of five countries in the English-speaking Caribbean to offer the programme. Through these schemes, non-nationals can purchase citizen status after making financial commitments to invest in real estate or special funds set up by the governments. 

But there have been longstanding concerns by citizens, local anti-corruption lobbyists and powerful development partners in Europe and North America that the passport schemes could be abused to shield bad actors like money launderers and terrorism financiers.