The names of individuals who obtained so-called ‘Golden Passports’ and citizenship through the much-criticised Cyprus Investment Program have been published by Al Jazeera in a second of its exclusive reports.
The individuals include convicted criminals, oligarchs on the run from the law, and government officials. Al Jazeera has only published the names of individuals when there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or if the person is a Politically Exposed Person who would no longer be entitled to obtain Cypriot citizenship and a passport. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the PEPs listed in the Cyprus Papers.
Analysis by the Investigative Unit found that at least 60 people who bought passports between 2017 and 2019 would have been rejected as “high-risk” according to the rules that exist in Cyprus today. It has published the profiles of 100 individuals, including:
High-risk – Limits the list to 60 named profiles that are categorised as “high-risk” according to the criteria set out in the 2019 rules.
Politically exposed – 35 Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) whose applications put the Cyprus Investment Programme at risk from political corruption.
Redacted profiles – These profiles have had their names redacted. They conform to the laws that currently regulate the scheme. They have been included to show its appeal among a global elite that includes at least 15 billionaires.
The list includes profiles of EU citizens from Bulgaria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom and EU candidate country Serbia.
It also includes profiles of Afghans, Americans, Chinese, Egyptians, Hong Kongese, Indians, Indonesians, Iranians, Israelis, Kazakhstanis, Lebanese, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Russians, Saudi Arabians, South Africans, Syrians, Emiratis, Venezuelans and Vietnamese.
The rules have tightened in recent years in response to critics who want the scheme shut down. The EU says it is a back door into Europe for criminals and dirty money.
Full details may be found on the Al Jazeera website.
Details include the names of the individuals concerned, an analysis of those who obtained Cyprus citizenship and a ‘Golden Passport’ by nationality, the new rules for applicants applying for Cypriot citizenship that were introduced in 2019 and the 2020 law to strip citizenship.