Who are the super rich who buy a new nationality?
Cyprus has made billions of dollars from passport sales. Who are the people that buy them, and why do they do it?
Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit has obtained a leak of documents revealing that more than 2,500 people paid to become Cypriot citizens between 2017 and 2019.
With applicants from more than 70 different nations, each required to make an investment of 2.15 million euros ($2.5m) to qualify, Cyprus’s citizenship-by-investment programme reveals how the passports of a small EU nation have become a commodity for the global super-rich.
Among the names in the Cyprus Papers, the Investigative Unit has identified convicted criminals, wanted men and political figures regarded as a high-risk for dirty money.
In July 2020, Cyprus introduced laws to strip citizenship from those who made false representations to get it or who committed crimes since. But should they apply to the more than 60 high-risk people identified by the Investigative Unit?