Global Criminals Can Buy EU Passports for Cash in Cyprus and Malta

Cyprus and Malta offer EU passports in exchange for "investments" - Image Source: Pixabay

THE CASE OF a recent fraudster’s attempt to buy passports from Cyprus has highlighted the ease with which global criminals can become EU citizens for cash.

Last year, the European Commission launched legal action against Mediterranean member states Cyprus and Malta over allegations that their “citizenship by investment” schemes were undermining EU passports.

Under these controversial schemes, critics allege that criminals and other shady characters – often from Russia, the Middle East, and Asia – can essentially buy their way into free movement and travel of the EU for cash.

The phenomenon was recently highlighted by the revelation that Jho Low – the world’s most wanted fraudster – had spent nearly 6 million euro attempting to buy a Cyprus passport. The alleged criminal mastermind is said to have stolen $4.5 billion from the Malaysian government in the 1MDB scam – the most lucrative fraud crime in history.

Investigators in Malaysia revealed that Low had used the services of Cyprus-based passport fixers Henley & Partners, who had told him he needed to spend millions of local property in order for the country to approve his citizenship.

The EU has made attempts to crack down on Cyprus and Malta’s passports for sale schemes, believing the two countries to be profiting at the expense of the bloc’s security and integrity.

Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “Global Criminals Can Buy EU Passports for Cash in Cyprus and Malta”. For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.

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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


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