Cyprus is to revoke 26 so-called “Golden passports,” obtained by investing in real estate; these include nine Russians, eight Cambodians, five Chinese, two Kenyans, one Iranian and one Malaysian.
Among the 26 is fugitive financier Jho Low, who obtained his citizenship with the help of the Cyprus Archbishop Helped, Politis newspaper says.
Low is believed to be the mastermind behind $4.5bn scandal, which he allegedly misappropriated from the Malaysian investment fund. He recently struck a $1bn deal with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve forfeiture cases linked to him in the US.
Among the Cambodian beneficiaries are the country’s police chief and finance minister, Reuters reports.
The Cypriot interior minister Constantinos Petrides also told reporters that all 4,000 passports distributed under the investors’ program would be reviewed. Cyprus has had a citizenship-for-investment plan in place since 2013. Under the program, anyone investing a minimum of €2 million can buy a passport that guarantees visa-free travel throughout the European Union.