Con Artists Swindle Thousands in Istanbul for Fake Montenegro Passports

“They were asking people to pay between 7,000 and 12,000 euros for this so-called Montenegrin citizenship,” said Akkan Suver, Montenegro’s honorary consul general to Istanbul, according to Daily Sabah. He explained that the fraudsters had opened a consulting agency office near the official consulate building on the European side of Istanbul, as well as a variety

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Portugal’s Former Interior Minister Acquitted of Golden Visa Influence-Peddling Charges

A Lisbon court on Friday acquitted Miguel Macedo, erstwhile Minister of the Interior for Portugal, of criminal malfeasance in a high-profile case stemming from an investigation in 2014 – Operation Labyrinth – which saw 21 individuals from both the public and private sectors tried in court on charges of corruption and influence-peddling related to the

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Possible Fake Saint Kitts CIP Approval Letters Discovered, Agents Questioned on Discounts

In a story first reported by Caribbean News Now, that same publication claims to be in possession of “a copy of a letter purportedly sent by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of St Kitts and Nevis to a local authorised agent. The letter states that “the application via real estate option” in a named

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Harvey Speaks Out on CBC’s QIIP Investigation: “It Helped Our Business, Believe it or Not”

Speaking to Investment Migration Insider during the Investment Immigration Summit in Hong Kong last week, Jean Francois Harvey, head of the law firm that bears his name, spoke about the practical consequences of his employees appearing on hidden camera in an investigative report by Canada’s CBC last month. Questioned as to what was the fallout

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Greek Golden Visa Firm in Hot Water for Alleged Bypass of Capital Controls in China

In a case that has both Greek and Chinese authorities investigating what they say are criminal activity, an Athens-based real estate investment company headed by the former executive chairman of one of the country’s largest retailers has become the focus of media attention in Greece over the last week. According to Tornos News, authorities claim

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SEC Charges Couple with $10 Million EB-5 Fraud and Cover-Up

The SEC this week charged California-based lawyer Jean Danhong Chen and her husband Tony Jianyun Ye with raising over US$10 million in undisclosed commissions through the sale of EB-5 securities, as well as for attempting to tamper with evidence after they learned they were under investigation. According to an SEC press release, the couple conspired

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Transparency International Slams Golden Visas in New Report

Transparency International, in cooperation with Global Witness, today published a 50-page report entitled European Getaway; Inside the Murky World of Golden Visas. Released just minutes ago, the full extent of the report’s findings are as yet unclear, but a quick glance indicates a highly critical approach. The report’s executive summary offers hints (bold ours): “[…]The

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IMC’s L’ecuyer Urges Adherence to Ethical Code Following QIIP-Investigation

In a response to the airing of an investigative report on the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) by Canadian state broadcaster CBC Radio Canada, the CEO of the Investment Migration Council (IMC), Mr. Bruno L’ecuyer, has issued an open letter to all Residency and Citizenship by Investment professionals. For background, see Tajick: Public Broadcaster Investigation Rocks

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Tajick: Public Broadcaster Investigation Rocks Québec IIP

On the 20th of September, the whole investment migration industry in Canada was holding its breath before the airing of the Enquête investigation report on the Quebec Immigrant Investor program. The investigation team went undercover in Hong Kong to unravel the darkest secrets of the program and the industry. It came with the purpose to

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Alleged Drug Lords and Billion-Dollar Fraudsters – The CIP-Country Response

Three purported criminals have made headlines for their reported connections to CIP-countries this week. We’ve summarized the stories. Mehul Choksi – Alleged perpetrator of India’s biggest ever bank-fraud India’s Central Bureau of Investigation wants Antigua & Barbuda’s authorities – who have confirmed that the man is a citizen of and currently present in the country –

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Choksi-Case: India to Request Extradition, Choksi Appeals to High Court to Prevent it

Indian officials have received confirmation from Antigua that Mehul Choksi is in the country and will move to request extradition soon. The Antigua & Barbuda CIU, meanwhile, has issued a press release explaining the due diligence conducted on Mr. Choksi, and what they discovered during the process. For background on the Choksi-case, see Due Diligence Blunder?

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CIUs Can’t be Expected to Reject Applicants Whose Alleged Crimes Are not Yet Known

Opinion of the Editor: The Antigua & Barbuda CIU came under fire this week after revealing they had granted citizenship to a man – wanted by Indian authorities over an alleged fraud case – months before any suspicion was raised. That’s unreasonable. Indian businessman Mehul Choksi stands accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of

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Due Diligence Blunder? Indian Billionaire Wanted for $2Bn Fraud Gets Antigua Citizenship

Mehul Choksi, an Indian billionaire diamond-magnate whose passport Indian authorities revoked earlier this year in conjunction with their issuing of an arrest warrant for the man, has obtained a citizenship in Antigua & Barbuda, as confirmed by that country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU). Choksi – owner of the Gitanjali Group, a jewelry empire with over

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Who Hacked imidaily.com? Attackers Delete Several Posts, Including Passport Rankings Page

Late last night, Investment Migration Insider’s website suffered an attack by hackers who deleted several articles and pages, inserted malicious code into the configuration PHP-file, and locked the editor out of the website’s control panel. The attack caused a service outage that lasted for several hours and also prevented the editor from accessing the website’s

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“I Went F****ing Mad” – Range Sues Writers Over Alleged Fake-Arrest Story

Range Developments, perhaps the biggest CBI-developer in the Caribbean, has filed a lawsuit against two individuals for their alleged part in the propagation of an article claiming the firm’s Vice-Chairman, Mohammed Asaria, had been detained by Chinese police during a visit to the country last month, according to a press release, reprinted in full below.

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Andorra Story Update: UK Firm Apologizes, Removes Fake CIP Following IMI-Article

Several prominent RCBI firms contacted IMI last week, warning that emails promoting three nonexistent CIPs were circulating and had led to many client inquiries. Read the story here: Caution: UK Firm Offering Andorra Passport for €68,000 Delivered in 3 Weeks. Upon further investigation, it appears the originator of the fake Andorra program promotional materials is not

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Caution: UK Firm Offering Andorra Passport for €68,000 Delivered in 3 Weeks

Update, July 3rd, 2018:  After several email exchanges, the firm has informed IMI’s editor that they have removed the “programs” in question from their website and explained that their intention was never to propagate inaccurate information but that they were merely taken in by the same email campaign as other service providers, and unwisely passed

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