Lest you believe that misconduct and crime, in the administration of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs, is limited to those conducted by the East Caribbean states, look at the programs being run in the countries of the European Union (EU):
(1) Malta has still not recovered from the charges of corruption levelled at its CBI program, as well as the St Kitts CBI passport held by the CEO of its discredited Pilatus Bank, nor the fact that some of its senior officials appeared to own offshore corporations named in the Panama Papers.
(2) The opposition Left Bloc political party in Portugal stated that their country's "Golden Passport" (CBI) program is a gateway to "corrupt practices, influence peddling, extortion and money laundering, among other fiscal and criminal irregularities."
(3) The Republic of Cyprus has declined to name its CBI passport holders, notwithstanding public calls for transparency in Europe, amid fears that many are senior Russian organized crime figures. We really wanted to see those photos, so that we could run them through a facial recognition software program, to ascertain the real identities of those oligarchs and their associates.
We may have written literally hundreds of articles on corruption and financial crime in the five East Caribbean states, due to their CBI programs, but European countries selling CBI passports also seem to have the same problems. The lure of bribes & kickbacks, applicants who wish to pay additional "fees" (over and above-posted rates) and totally bogus diplomatic passports for sale for cash, appear to have enticed European politicians, and CBI unit officials, much in the same way as their East Caribbean brethren have fallen into the ooze of corruption.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant