The American executive promoting a Green Card 'lottery scheme' says his partners are replacing him because of unfavourable publicity and difficult relations with the US consulate.
James Beauparlant, representative of GCP (HK) Ltd, said although he was 'very satisfied' with the response to the $350-a-head scheme in the four days since advertisements first appeared, his partners wanted new staff in Hong Kong. He leaves the territory this morning, but said he would return in about two weeks with colleagues.
'I'm being told: 'You're running ragged, you've got a few hours' sleep last night, you can't expect to perform like that'.' Other staff members would take over, he said.
The US Consulate issued a statement saying: 'Winning the draw will not automatically qualify a person for an immigrant visa for the United States' and 'GCP's plan is not illegal under US law, but the US Government cannot guarantee GCP's performance nor attest to the legitimacy of the programme'.
GCP's adverts offer to enter applicants in a lottery with an unspecified chance of gaining a Green Card allowing US residency. Mr Beauparlant said funds from the lottery pool would be invested in the US, generating a Green Card entitlement. The document would be offered to the winner of the draw, to be held first on December 31.
Although the advertisement states, 'This programme is being offered first to Hong Kong residents for a limited period of time and then will be available through Southeast Asia', Mr Beauparlant confirmed the scheme had been offered in Taiwan earlier this year.
Plans were scrapped after the American Institute of Taiwan issued a general warning about Green Card lottery schemes.