Cyprus: Investors Being Probed in Golden Passport Scheme

October 26, 2019

NICOSIA (AP) — Cyprus is checking whether foreign investors who were granted a so-called “golden passport” met the scheme’s eligibility criteria, a Cypriot government official said Thursday.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said investors could lose their Cypriot passport if the investigation uncovers new information that renders them ineligible.

Cypriot passports have drawn wide interest, especially from wealthy individuals, because holders also become citizens of the European Union.

The EU issued a report in January warning Cyprus and other countries to beef up background checks before awarding the passports because of concerns people from outside the EU were acquiring them to launder money and flout tax laws.

The Cypriot Interior Ministry investigation will initially target a select number of “golden passport” recipients who recent media reports suggest shouldn’t have received the document.

Cyprus announced the probe following reports that senior Cambodian government officials and relatives of the country’s Prime Minister Hun Sen received Cypriot passports.

Hun Sen’s four decades-long grip on power is seen as becoming increasingly authoritarian.

Prodromou said that apart from these individuals, the investigation will examine all other investors granted citizenship before eligibility rules and vetting procedures were first tightened last year. Even more stringent vetting — including a requirement that an investor holds a visa permitting him or her to travel within the EU — was enacted earlier this year.

The names of passport recipients will be run through an international database that could reveal potential misdeeds that earlier vetting may not have picked up.

The names of investors who where naturalized after 2018 are regularly checked by this database on a constant basis to ensure the information they provided on their application is above-board, Prodromou said.

Cypriot government officials have bristled at accusations that Cyprus was running a “passports-for-cash” scheme.

The program has generated approximately 7 billion euros ($7.78 billion) since its inception following a 2013 financial crisis that brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

It requires that investors must put at least 2 million euros ($2.2 million) into real estate or a Cyprus-based business.


NICOSIA - As Cyprus has the world's highest number per capita of COVID-19 cases the state  doctors’ union PASYKO said it's happening as the state health services organization OKYPY is deteriorating.

Top Stories


OCEAN, NJ – Rafaella Lambrinos, whose family is from Karpathos originally, spoke with The National Herald about the Adopt a Yiayia and Pappou program she founded at St George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean, NJ, which connects youth and seniors from her church community through weekly phone conversations.


NEW YORK – Greek-American Trevor Zegras, forward for the Anaheim Ducks is set to play in his first NHL game in New York City against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, March 15, 7 PM.

General News

WASHINGTON, DC – AHEPA deeply mourns the passing of Past Supreme President and co-founder of AHEPA National Housing Corporation (ANHC) Nick Smyrnis.


1 Killed, 8 Hurt as Suspected Gas Explosion Hits Bronx Home

NEW YORK — A suspected gas explosion partially collapsed a home in the Bronx, setting the structure ablaze and killing a woman and injuring eight other people, including five police officers, officials said.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.