Europe

Cyprus to Probe 100 Cases Involving “Problematic” Citizenship Investors

Cyprus authorities are set to file charges in connection with its former citizenship-by-investment program, which closed in 2020 following an influence-peddling scandal.

Speaking to local media, sources reveal that a special police team is investigating approximately 100 cases in which citizenship was granted to foreign investors deemed “problematic.” These include individuals wanted for crimes like fraud and those who failed to make the requisite investments or only pretended to have done so.

The forthcoming charges follow a meeting between police investigators and the Law Office, which focused on examining the progress of specific cases with completed investigations.

The police submitted these files for review and recommended charges based on the evidence collected, particularly in the largest case involving 21 applications processed by a prominent law firm suspected of facilitating unlawful approvals.

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Reports from the Inquiry Committee and the Audit Office have exposed discrepancies between promised investments and their actual locations, as well as instances of individuals concealing their wanted status to obtain citizenship illegally. The government recently revoked the citizenship of six investors who had acquired it unlawfully.

The CIP, which allowed foreign nationals to acquire Cypriot citizenship by investing more than €2.5 million in the country, was abolished in 2020 following an undercover investigation by Al Jazeera. The exposé revealed indications of corruption and approval of citizenships for international criminals and fugitives, drawing criticism from the European Union and sparking protests within Cyprus.

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Moustafa Daly AdministratorAuthorParticipant
Head of Digital , IMI

Moustafa Daly is the Head of Digital at IMI, based in Cairo.

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