Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cyprus ‘golden passport’ scrapped




Cyprus ‘golden passport’ scrapped

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cyprus has decided to scrap its 'golden passport' scheme after a television programme exposed its alleged abuse. AFP

Cyprus ‘golden passport’ scrapped

Cyprus said on Tuesday it will scrap its controversial “golden passports” scheme for foreign investors next month over alleged abuses uncovered in a television programme.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said the Cabinet had agreed in an emergency meeting to abolish the scheme as proposed by the finance and interior ministers.

He said: “The proposal of the two ministers was based on long-standing weaknesses, abuse and exploitation of the provisions of the investment programme.”

Koushos said the scheme, which has generated $8.25 billion, would be brought to an end on November 1.

The Cypriot government would “fully examine its policy to encourage investment”, he added, after the completion of an investigation into the scheme.

The move came hours after Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera aired an hour-long programme showing its reporters pretending to represent a Chinese businessman keen to acquire a Cypriot passport despite him having a criminal record.

Al Jazeera reported: “Posing as representatives of a fictitious criminal character, our undercover reporters were ushered through the application process for the Cyprus Investment Programme by lawyers, property agents, leading eventually to high ranking politicians.”

Those involved – a Cypriot lawmaker and the parliament speaker – denied any wrongdoing.

But the lawmaker, Christakis Giovanis, later resigned from parliament and the positions he held in the left-wing AKEL party.

And the speaker, Demetris Syllouris, said he was standing down until a police investigation into the claims was completed.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to