Sale of passports continues to ruin Malta's reputation, PN says

The Nationalist Party once again asked for the Individual Investors Programme to be suspended with immediate effect

File photo
File photo

The sale of Maltese passports proves to be continuously ruinous to Malta's reputation, the Nationalist Party said, after a new Maltese citizen has been charged with fraud, the fifth such case in the last 12 months. 

In a statement, the PN made reference to The Shift News story on Anatoly Hurgin, an Israeli citizen who bought Maltese passports for himself and his family in 2016 and who is currently facing fraud charges in the United States and Israel.

"This story confirms how the decision of the Labour government to sell Maltese citizenship is ruining Malta's reputation. This is the fifth case of a person who bought a Maltese passport and who is now facing serious charges, including fraud and money laundering," the PN said on Saturday.

The PN added that such stories brought the government's gloating over what it claims is a successful programme to shame and that the four-tier due diligence is a sham.

"From the very start, the PN has been warning that the sale of Maltese citizenship is a scheme that gives Malta a bad name and ruins the good reputation that the country worked hard to earn over the years," the PN said.

It made reference to the recent reports of how the Chetcuti Cauchi legal firm, agents of the IIP, were now the subject of a police probe after a French exposé published a video showing members of the firm admit to a close relation with members of the Maltese government and how they were willing to close an eye if prospective golden passport clients had a criminal record.

"In light of this, the PN urges the government to immediately suspended the Individual Investors Programme and the sale of Maltese citizenship," the PN said.

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