Buy your Maltese passport at Henley and Partners Holdings Europe Ltd

Published: October 10, 2013 at 12:33am

Passaport Malti

Besides the whole selling of citizenship palaver, one amendment that sticks out like a sore thumb in Article 4 of the Bill is:

“(3) Any person who for gain and without being duly authorised, in violation of regulations made under this Act, advertises, publishes or disseminates publicly through any means whatsoever any information relating to the individual investor programme referred to in article 10(9)(b) shall be guilty of an offence against this Act and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine (multa) not exceeding twenty thousand euro (€20,000).”

But a call for proposals for bids to enter into a ‘Public Service Concession Contract for the implementation and operation of an Individual Investor Programme (IIP)’ was issued in August and won by Michael Lucas, Henley and Partners Holdings Europe Ltd.

So unlike schemes for residency, tax, property investment and so on, the Individual Investor programme scheme cannot be promoted by private companies, accountants or lawyers and the like.

Let us be charitable and assume that this is because it has national policy implications quite unlike those other schemes. But then why is the government granting a concession to one private company to promote the scheme alone alongside Identity Malta?

I have no idea what the specs were in the call for proposals but its great that private companies can now grant citizenship to those they decide are entitled to it.

38 Comments Comment

  1. It-tezi ta' Malta says:

    Why is the government granting a concession to one private company to promote the scheme alone alongside Identity Malta?

    Because government has conveniently failed to explain the term ‘duly authorised’.

  2. Dave says:

    So what we have here is a monopoly on who can avertise and advise on the IIP or generally give any information about it.

  3. Min Jaf says:

    From here on, whenever crossing passport requiring borders, I shall present my Passaport tar-Repubblika ta’ Malta in a plain brown envelope.

  4. PD says:

    Kemm spiccaw sew…..

    kemm kienu jiehdu gost ikantaw ‘mitna ghal barrani’, qishom xi martri

    issa se jkantaw ‘inxtrajna mill-barrani?’

    • The Observer says:

      Issa ma jkantaw xejn u jmisshom jisthu jghidu li huma Laburisti. Fejn hu l-interess ta’ Malta qabel kollox? Ara tismax laburist jghid xi haga dan l-ahhar.

  5. curious says:

    And Peppi Azzopardi is busy researching and discussing cyberbullying. Paxxijhom Peppi.

  6. Salvu says:

    Address: 4, independence square, valletta

    That’s the Auberge d’Aragon.

  7. Osservatore says:

    Or Maltapark….2778925

  8. Mark Vassallo says:

    Time to take down that Maltapark advert. Oops.

  9. NGT says:

    Well Mohamad al-Fayed finally has a chance to get an EU passport and live in the UK as a citizen with full European rights.

    • it-Tezi ta' Mario says:

      al-Fayer wants a British passport.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        He’s the epitome of the Port Said hawker. You know, a sort of Maltese merchant writ large – looks included. He probably reckoned he’d be sitting in the House of Lords by now. That’s why he wants a British passport.

  10. xifajk says:

    Aqta kemm se nixtru zejt bl-irhis mil-Libja.

  11. diamond1 says:

    Int sabiha Malta Taghna
    Mhux ta’ b’xejn infahhrek jien
    Mal-50 elf zid 600 elf ohra
    u biex Malti naghmlek jien

    • curious says:

      Brilliant. This reminds me of when we had to pay that extra fifty liri to get a coloured television set. Labour never changes.

      • Josette says:

        Amen to that. My father kept telling me that before the election u kliem ix-xiħ żomm fih.

  12. Osservatore says:

    Reeks of commissions. Bought and sold way before last March.

  13. Peritocracy says:

    I wonder if our very own Inspector Gadget has been to Azerbaijan to observe these election shenanigans.

  14. Monopolies says:

    This can’t be right. How can one firm alone be granted the right to promote this.

    All professionals who are authorised mandatories should be permitted to offer this service. The application can always be refused if there are grounds for it.

  15. Chris says:

    Hollywood has as usual foreseen this:

  16. DMicallef says:

    “We should really be asking for more considering the fact that a recent study by global consultancy on residence and citizenship planning firm Henley and Partners last week found that the Maltese passport is the world’s nine-most desirable on the basis that Maltese passport holders can travel to 163 different countries without requiring a visa.”

  17. tinnat says:

    The tender for this contract was launched in June. Seeing how long it can take for policy and documents to get through the red tape of government corridors, the timing makes it look like the Individual Investor Programme was a priority for the PL right from the start. Suspicious? Yes.

  18. Stefan says:

    The Prime Minister knows how much the country will earn from the sale of passports. Hence I can safely conclude that he knows how many passports he will sell.

    Now, the sale of passports is surely not some statistic you can get by applying some benchmark – he probably KNOWS who the buyers are, already.

    So instead of just telling us he will net 30 million, he should be telling us how many passports these represent, who will be buying them, and most importantly, what their investment will be.

  19. Quo Vadis says:

    A case of prostituting our identity and citizenship. And that makes Government being led by a Cabinet of pimps.

    One step better than Mintoff and his waiver of visa requirements to Libyans in exchange for cheap oil.

    Vera ma jisthux ibieghu lil ommhom jekk hemm bzonn

  20. Monopolies says:

    I am not sure if I understand this. Can other professionals not offer this service at all? I find it very hard to believe that the Government could have this as the terms of the tender. I would have thought that the tender would have been limited to advising the Government on establishing the programme but if it goes further that the only supplier of the service will be Henley this is simply wrong.

    Perhaps I am reading this wrong and the provision does not seek to limit other professionals entirely but does not permit them to market the service ie that they can still submit an application on behalf of their client. Even this would be wrong but at least not as bad.

    We need to know more. Who will be doing the due diligence on behalf of Government. It simply cannot be anyone who is also submitting applications. That would be a huge conflict of interest. One is hardly going to reject an application that they are submitting themselves.

    Moreover, if the legislation does intend to simply single out Henleys as the sole supplier of the service, this puts other professionals in the awkward and unenviable position of having to refer their clients to Henleys, when Henleys is the competition when it comes to company incorporations, trusts etc etc.

    Finally, it seems that the last word on diligence rests with the Minister of Home Affairs. Now this man just happens to be a former criminal defense lawyer. So we know what his forma mentis is. How bloody ridiculous is that.

    There is so much that is wrong about this Program that it beggars belief. I can appreciate that there is scope for a programme for people who really intend to live here and contribute significantly to our economy. Just putting a price tag to it, and such a low one at that, just is a form of prostituting our nationality and all that goes with it. Malta Taghna Ilkoll my foot. Malta tal-Barranin Jekk Ghandhom il-flus.

  21. very suspicious says:

    Suspicious yes, start by having a look at all the applications submitted to MEPA the week of the 8th March.

  22. Paul Bonnici says:

    Daphne, correct me if I am wrong, I am sure you know better than me.

    The British government has been ‘selling’ passport to investors for ages. I used to work for a Russian business after the collapse of the USSR, he set up a small business in the UK and was granted residency and eventually a citizenship. I knew that he did all this to get a British passport.

    [Daphne – Absolutely nothing to do with it. Under the British system (like the American), you first go there, you set up shop, you spend years contributing to British/American society and the economy, and then you are allowed to APPLY for citizenship, which might – as in Mohammed Al Fayed’s famous case – be refused. Under Labour’s planned system, you put in the money and you get the passport immediately – along with passports for your children up to the age of 25, spouse, your parents and your spouse’s parents.]

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