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Appeal Court tells St Kitts Opposition leader to vacate seat in Parliament just Months After UK Border Police held him at Gatwick Airport with £70,000 Cash

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(London) St Kitts/Nevis Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas confirmed yesterday that he had been ordered by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal to vacate his seat in the Parliament over the issue of a diplomatic passport that had been granted to him by Dominica.

Douglas, speaking at a news conference of his St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNL), said that he had been informed by his lawyers that the court, sitting in St Lucia, had handed down the judgement.

At a Press Conference held on Thursday Dr. Douglas told the media “I must let you know that we are very surprised and we disagree with the judgement. We are really surprised that this judgement has come in the way it has.

Section 28(1) of the St Kitts-Nevis Constitution states that a person shall not be qualified to be elected if he is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or State.

This  comes just months after UK Border police detained the former St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister at Gatwick Airport . 

Douglas, 67, who served as prime minister in the two-island federation from 1995-2015 was detained on November 16th. UK Border Officers seized the equivalent of more than £70,000 – in sterling, US dollars and eastern Caribbean dollars – from Douglas  when he could not explain why he was attempting to leave the country with the cash.

Dr Douglas is  currently  the subject of a probe by the National Crime Agency as officers were granted the right to hold the cash for a further six months by Crawley Magistrates’ Court on November 19, 2020. 

A law enforcement source said: ‘He told them it was for political campaigning but could not explain where it came from and where it was really going.’ 

They added: ‘He was pulled up by Border Force and he declared he had a little bit of cash on him but something didn’t smell right and the search found the stash.’

Anti-money laundering rules state anyone leaving the UK to travel to a non-EU country must declare any sum above €10,000 (£8,400). 

“Agents are still  attempting to trace the origin of the cash,” reported UK Media in December , 2019 .

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