The government will also investigate the citizenship case of a Russian oligarch who recently bought with a Cypriot ‘golden passport’ a large island from a strategically important area in Finland.
This is what Philenews – citing insiders – said on Saturday, the day after Cabinet decided to revoke the passports of 45 people who obtained citizenship under the now discredited citizenship by investment scheme.
The scheme which ran for more than a decade granted almost 7,000 people citizenship. No names of those whose passports will be revoked were give out.
Moreover, Cabinet further decided to investigate six additional cases – reportedly including that of the well=known Russian businessman.
Friday’s decision by the island’s Cabinet to revoke the passports of 39 investors and six dependents follows a recommendation by a government-appointed commission in June.
A Cypriot passport grants visa-free travel, working and residency rights throughout the 27-nation European Union. The scheme was popular with Russians and investors from Asia.
The European Commission had put pressure on Cyprus to abolish the cotnrversial passport scheme.
The government-appointed commission, headed by a former Chief Justice, said the scheme had run in a vaccum for more than a decade without adequate oversight and no checks and balances.
It concluded that more than 53% of people who obtained citizenship under the scheme did so unlawfully.