Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the Interior Ministry will proceed, in cooperation with three international specialised firms, to due diligence checks for the cases of people granted Cypriot citizenship before 2018, when stricter checks entered into force.
The three international firms that have been selected after an open public tendering procedure are Sterling Diligence, Kroll and S-RM Intelligence and Risk Consulting. Petrides noted that the due diligence checks will be carried out according to a decision taken on October 23 by the Council of Ministers, adding that starting from December the three firms will perform this task for all those who submitted applications.
Petrides noted that “with the use of enhanced due diligence methods which are available today an additional internal check will be carried out into the cases in which the Cypriot citizenship was granted before 2018, that is before tightening the criteria being implemented. This will show whether the individuals to whom the Cypriot citizenship has been granted are facing charges for committing offences and/or European restrictive measures,” he stated.
Moreover he noted that the Interior Ministry will activate the procedure of revoking the Cypriot citizenship, if there are cases in which there are reasons to do so.
“The procedure of revoking the citizenship will be activated in all cases that the constant due diligence check shows that investors granted citizenship or members of their families are facing charges for committing offences and/or international or European restrictive measures have been imposed on them,” he noted.
The Interior Minister underlined that since 2018 constant due diligence checks are being carried out to see whether there is anything reprehensible about investors who have been granted Cypriot citizenship, even if any offences were committed after the investor was granted the citizenship.
The Cypriot Cabinet discussed the issue last week. According to a Reuters investigation published earlier this month relatives and friends of the Cambodian authoritarian prime minister were granted Cypriot passports.
(Cyprus News Agency)