Cyprus has announced it will abolish a controversial passport scheme following an investigation by Al Jazeera that revealed how high-ranking politicians were willing to issue passports to convicted criminals.
The interior and finance ministries said in a statement posted in Greek on Twitter that the citizenship through investment programme in its current form will be abolished from November 1.
“The proposal was based on the long-standing weaknesses but also on the abusive exploitation of the provisions of the programme,” Tuesday’s statement said.
In addition, Cypriot Attorney General George Savvidis announced it would start an investigation into possible criminal offenses.
“What has been published in the last few hours by the Al Jazeera news network is causing outrage, anger and concern among the people,” his statement read.
On Monday, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit released The Cyprus Papers Undercover, which showed the willingness of parliament speaker, Demetris Syllouris, and member of parliament, Christakis Giovanis (also known as Giovani in Cyprus), to aid and abet convicted criminals to obtain a passport through the Citizenship Investment Programme (CIP).