Boastful passport agent’s licences remain suspended after IIP regulator report

Passport agents Chetcuti Cauchi are not yet out of the woods despite the IIP regulator finding that claims made in French TV sting were unfounded

Chetcuti Cauchi's director Jean-Philippe Chetcuti at Castille
Chetcuti Cauchi's director Jean-Philippe Chetcuti at Castille

Passport agents Chetcuti Cauchi’s licences to promote the Individual Investor Programme remain suspended, sister newspaper BusinessToday reports today.

Chetcuti Cauchi’s licenses as IIP agents remain suspended, a spokesperson for the citizenship parliamentary secretariat told the newspaper.

The suspension remains in force following the publication of a report which debunked claims by one of the agency lawyers that he enjoyed privileged access to the authorities.

A report issued on Tuesday by the IIP regulator Carmel Degabriele found that claims made by a lawyer from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates during a French TV sting – that he could obtain citizenship for people with a criminal record – were unfounded.

In comments to the newspaper, the spokesperson noted that citizenship parliamentary secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli had welcomed the independent report and the conclusions published by the Office of the Regulator of the Individual Investor Programme on the number of allegations reported by the French TV programme Enquête Exclusive.

“The independent report clearly stated that there was no collusion whatsoever between the agent and the responsible minister, or that the former, since the start of the programme, had ever received any preferential treatment,” the spokesperson said.

“The independent report also stated that no applicants with a criminal background were ever included in an application presented by the agent. The licence of Chetcuti Cauchi has not been reinstated and with immediate effect the parliamentary secretary has ordered an analysis of the recommendations put forward in the report.”

The spokesperson reiterated Farrugia Portelli’s commitment to continue working so that the IIP scheme “continues to be successful”.

A spokesperson for Chetcuti Cauchi told BusinessToday that the firm had not had any contact with the IIP regulator since the report was published on Tuesday.

The firm would be issuing a statement today, the spokesperson told BusinessToday.

Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo earlier this month, following an application by NGO Repubblika, ordered that a magisterial inquiry be held into the allegations made by the Chetcuti Cauchi representative in the French TV report.

Farrugia Frendo decided Repubblika had provided sufficient facts to satisfy the prerequisites for an inquiry.

READ ALSO: A load of bull: passport agent peddled ‘insensible sales promo’ says IIP regulator

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