Following an investigation by OCCRP the organization on 18 March 2022 released documents showing that the SCL campaign in St. Vincent and the Grenadines election of 2010 had an estimated budget of over $4.1 million.
As in St. Kitts and Nevis, emails show that Christian Kälin known as the (Passport King) was in regular contact with SCL staff and involved in key aspects of the campaign, though there is no evidence he financed it.
By then, Sven Hughes had left SCL, but he agreed to return for one last job. Once again, he said, he was in regular contact with Kälin, discussing the investors Henley could bring to the country if Eustace won. Many of Kälin’s ideas wound up in Eustace’s speeches, Hughes said.
The stakes were high. At the time, St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not have a citizenship-by-investment program. If Arnhim Eustace, the opposition candidate, won the premiership, Henley could be in line for a huge contract to run a passport sales scheme.
“In principle, it was agreed that if [Eustace’s] party were elected to government…we would be interested in helping develop a citizenship by investment program for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to bring much-needed investment into the country,” Henley said in a statement to reporters.
Documents support the notion that Kälin was feeding Eustace and his team policy lines and campaign promises. A few days before the vote, Kälin emailed Eustace with a vague list of “major investors” in various key sectors, including banking, construction and aerospace, that he said he could bring to the country if Eustace won.
“This is what we could do for you once you are in government,” Kälin wrote in the email. “Please feel free to use any of the above points in your manifesto, campaign messages etc. as all of this I can personally assure you we will be able to actually realise.”
In a follow-up email to staff at SCL, Kälin emphasized that his promises were “not just pies in the skye [sic],” adding: “They (and we) are only waiting for a good government to be in place.”
As the election loomed, however, the race looked close and victory far from certain. Emails show Kälin became increasingly frantic, even proposing to bring in a Trinidadian lawyer to “assist us with the legal aspects of preventing the government of St. Vincent and Grenadines from stealing this election.”
SCL also flew around 50 law students from Trinidad to the island to monitor ballot boxes on election day after Henley offered to cover their costs.
Henley said the idea to fly in the students was not Kälin’s, but did say Kälin “would have been helpful to his friend Arnhim Eustace in support of any initiatives that would ensure free and fair elections in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.” The company said it had a “keen interest” in the outcome of the election, but that any opinions it offered were “given on an informal basis and were unpaid.”
Aggressive tactics on both sides left even SCL staff afraid for their safety. Plans for an emergency evacuation were made, which could be triggered by sending a text with the word NODUFF.