Taxpayer money that funded PM's passport road shows should be refunded - Arnold Cassola

Former MEP candidate Arnold Cassola has written to the Auditor General over the Individual Investor Programme 

Independent candidate Arnold Cassola
Independent candidate Arnold Cassola

Former independent MEP candidate Arnold Cassola has written to the Auditor General requesting the refund of taxpayer money spent on financing the Henley and Partner ‘money-making racket.’

After French news programme Enquête Exclusive revealed how one of Malta’s agents of the Individual Investor Programme boasted of its close affinity with the government, Cassola wrote to the Commissioner for Standards George Hyzler to investigate the claims.

Now Cassola has written to Auditor General Charles Deguara saying that the European Commission was right in saying that the IIP had opened the doors to corruption, money-laundering and organised crime.

“Effectively, a number of foreign millionaire delinquents were arrested or had their assets frozen following their purchase of a Maltese passport,” Cassola said, mentioning Mustafa Abdel Wadwood, Liu Zhongtian, Pavel Melnikov and Boris Mints.

Mints, a Russian billionaire oligarch and philanthropist has had over €500 million in assets blocked by London’s High Court.

“Every arrest that has been made has defamed Malta and the name of all the honest Maltese citizens who live in Malta,” Cassola wrote in his letter.

“Maltese taxpayers have been paying thousands of euros since 2013 to finance the trips of the Prime Minister, the ministers and their subordinates to market the sale of Malta’s citizenship in events and road shows organised by Henley and Partners.

“Basically, Maltese taxpayers are paying for the Prime Minister and his friends to advertise for a private company and these same adverts are serving to tarnish Malta’s name with the world,” Cassola said.

He asked the Auditor General to stop all payments coming from Maltese taxpayers in relation to any events organised by Henley and Partners and to refund all monies used for the same reason since 2013.