Chronicles of the Cyprus Passport Saga Part 8

Хроники кипрской саги о паспортах. Часть 8
24 November 2020 Liza Medvetskaya

A special committee that studies the cases of Golden passports holders for the entire period of the Citizenship by Investment program called on the leaders of the Cypriot parties to assist in the investigation of the scandal with the naturalization scheme of foreign citizens.

In particular, on Monday, November 23, the former ex-chairman of the Supreme Court, Myron Nikolatos, who heads the Committee, sent letters to the leadership of the parties, which asked the leaders to give oral testimony before the committee or send their data, information or documents regarding exclusive naturalization of foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

In addition, the Committee recently announced its intention to submit the first interim reports of the investigation to the Attorney General of Cyprus.

At the same time, the members of the Committee emphasized that they reserve the right to invite to the hearing any person participating in the program of foreign investors and entrepreneurs naturalization.

It should be noted that the Minister of Internal Affairs of Cyprus Nicos Nouris has already visited the meeting with the Committee. As it became known, at the beginning of the month he submitted an official dossier on exclusive naturalization and gave explanations and clarifications to the Committee on Procedural Matters and Matters of Control over Naturalization.

Хроники кипрской саги о паспортах. Часть 8

Meanwhile, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) sent out circular С416 dated November 10, 2020 to financial market participants with a request to provide by the end of the month data on clients who received Golden passports for the previous 5 years of cooperation with them.

In addition to the main investors - individuals, CySEC requires data on their family members, beneficiaries of legal entities, as well as information on all accounts ever opened by the listed persons over the past five years.

We must say that many financial companies were confused by this news. How regulated companies should comply with this requirement is also not clear, they simply don't know how to do this.

"The circular from the Cypriot regulator is a warning to the country's financial companies that they must have proper full files for each client, as well as that inspections by the regulator are possible in the near future, '' said Kirill Shein, partner of LSTS Consultants.

Experts have expressed various assumptions regarding the unexpected CySEC initiative. Some are confident that companies will have to double-check clients who have recently received Cypriot citizenship (regardless of the reason), or who are known (from client managers, for example) that they received passports under the program. Others do not rule out the option that they will simply check all Cypriots with names and surnames atypical for Cyprus.

'When this program was started, no one expected that the phrase Golden passport would become a household word in compliance. This is one of the long-term consequences of the failure of the investment program,' - said Isaac Becker, international financial consultant FCP Financial Management Ltd.

However, many of the experts agree that this is a clear signal that the owners of Golden passports will have problems for more than one year.

Chronicles of the Cyprus Passport Saga:

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