Advisors to Dominica’s government will TODAY prepare letters as part of legal action against financial crime consultant and blogger Kenneth Rijock.
Rijock, who resides in Florida, has been accused of making defamatory accusations against Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, relating to the sale of a diplomatic passport to Alireza Zabahalat Monfared, a known Iranian sanctions violator.
Speaking to WIC News, the Dominican government’s top legal mind said: “Letters are being prepared today for service to Mr Rijock.”
This move follows legal action brought against Rijock by a Canadian company for “a malicious and relentless campaign of fake news” on his Financial Crime Blog, which WIC News broke last week.
Anthony Astaphan, senior counsel to Dominica’s government, said: “The different allegations surrounding Rijock go to show how he is seriously dishonest.
“I have spoken to many colleagues in Florida whose first reaction was ‘this man is a con artist, this man is a fraud’. He doesn’t have a clue about Dominica and he has no idea what facts are.
“He uses blogging online to give a veneer of credibility but it is all fake: a collusion, a conspiracy, it’s a smear campaign.
“I have never seen one person produce so many lies and alternative facts.”
When approached by WIC News, Rijock said: “If I am served I stand by what I have written.”
Astaphan traces Rijock’s involvement in Dominica’s politics to the United Worker’s Party (UWP), the nation’s official opposition.
“As far as I can see this leads right to the United workers party, whose leaders seem to have the same regard to the facts. This isn’t the first time this has happened and we need to stop it.
“Rijock and the UWP have, as far as I’m concerned, have a relationship that is too close.”
Rijock strongly denies a link with the UWP or any political party in Dominica, saying he “hasn’t been in the country for almost 40 years and is not a shill for any group.”
WIC News has reached out to the UWP for comment.
Last week Rijork’s contentious blog turned the focus to the Morocco’s ambassador to Dominica.
In a post titled “How many thousand blank passports from Dominica has been sold in Syria?”, he accused Mohamed Benjilany of meeting Skerrit and acquired thousands of “blank, official Dominica passports” – something that Astaphan dismisses as “fantasy”.
Rijock stands by the allegations, telling WIC News this morning: “I didn’t believe it myself until someone in the US verified it for me.
“They are selling [passports] like hotcakes. Dominica is in danger of becoming a kleptocracy.”
The Ministry of Justice, Immigration and National Security dismissed these claims as “malicious, entirely false and an unjustified slur.”
More so, Astaphan disputes the existence of Rijocks sources.
“It is always ‘a source on some street told me’; there is no substance. ‘A former CIA source’. Some unknown source – these sources are fabricated and he is yet to produce a grain of fact,” he said.
“Instead he relies on the murky and cloudy fiction of these sources.”
Kenneth Rijock is a former banking attorney at an international law firm. He spent the 1980s as a money launderer and advisor to drug traffickers, until he was arrested and imprisoned. He is now a financial crime consultant.