Probe: Cyprus ‘unlawfully’ gave passports in investment offer | World

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ govt unlawfully issued 3,500 passports to the relations of wealthy

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ govt unlawfully issued 3,500 passports to the relations of wealthy traders under a now-defunct, multibillion euro citizenship-for-financial investment program, a damning interim report by an impartial fee discovered on Tuesday.

The report, which reported the governing administration improperly interpreted the legislation, also identified that virtually 770 foreigners had been wrongly granted citizenship.

The method was attractive to international traders simply because a passport from European Union member Cyprus permitted absolutely free journey and residence in the 27-member bloc.

The four-member fee, headed by a former senior judge, was tasked by President Nicos Anastasiades with investigating what went erroneous with the scheme. It mentioned in its 515-webpage report that just about fifty percent of the 6,779 passports that successive governments issued under the system about 13 several years have been provided to investors’ grownup spouse and children customers, even nevertheless there was no legislation in place to authorize that.

The Cypriot parliament handed legislation allowing the govt to grant these citizenships to family users only a several months just before the method was scrapped very last calendar year.

The EU had also taken Cyprus to endeavor in excess of the scheme.

That program’s cancellation arrived immediately after an undercover Tv set report that allegedly confirmed the parliamentary speaker and a impressive lawmaker saying that they could skirt the regulations to problem a passport to a reporter posing as a consultant for a fictitious Chinese trader who experienced been convicted of fraud in his nation.