The scope of due diligence will probably be to verify if the passport holders still have a clean criminal record, if they are in the stop list of any countries, the International Criminal Police Organization or any European or international organizations related to anti-money laundering, including FATF, Moneyball, OFAC and UNODC. I do not know yet if the local authorities will inform if the required due diligence has been completed and the passport holders are “cleared.”
What is the scope of the retroactive due diligence on Cyprus CBI investors?
I obtained my Cypriot citizenship in 2017 through its citizenship-by-investment program. Recently I heard that some investors’ citizenship has been revoked as a result of retroactive due diligence conducted by the government. I would like to know the scope and content of the due diligence. Also, will investors be informed if the required due diligence on them has been completed and they are “cleared”?
The government has decided that all investors who have obtained their citizenship prior to 2018 when the more strict due diligence criteria were not implemented will be checked. It is not expected that any form of communication will be made to such investors. Only the cases where the examination committee will seek further information and/or identify problems will be notified. The actual procedure and logistics are yet to be officially announced.
Retrospective due diligence will be contacted to ascertain whether the applicant/investor fulfilled the criteria that were applicable at the relevant time. Any passport holder who was granted a passport without having fulfilled the criteria at the time, will not be allowed to rectify his/her status. However, any affected passport holder will be notified priorly.
There are many inquiries raised following the decision of the Council of Ministers to revoke the Cypriot passports of 9 investors and 17 of their family members. The law of the Republic and more specifically, the Civil Registry Law, states: The Council of Minister can deprive any citizen of the Republic, who is naturalized, of his citizenship if the following are satisfied: a) by way of acts or in words, he has shown dishonesty or malice in the Republic; b) in any war carried out by the Republic, he is illegally engaged in a transaction or has communicated with the enemy or engaged in or engaged in any operation which was carried out in his knowledge to assist the enemy in that war; or c) within five years of his naturalization, he has been sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a period of not less than twelve months. The decision of the Council of Ministers should, at the first stage, be communicated to the affected persons with a letter to the last stated address in Cyprus. The law provides the person whose citizenship is being deprived of with the right to request an investigation. In this case, "the Council of Ministers may refer this case to the Investigation Committee, appointed specifically for this purpose by the Council of Ministers. The Investigation Committee shall consist of the President, who will have judicial experience, and such members as the Council of Ministers deems necessary.” People who have obtained citizenship via investment and do not fall in the above criteria will not be notified, only the ones whose citizenship could be revoked will be notified.