Government makes €310.5 million from sale of Maltese citizenship, and nobody knows where the money is

Published: October 31, 2016 at 3:24pm

Owen Bonnici, the Minister lately made responsible for the sale of Maltese citizenship (because he’s edging his way into the core group now), said this morning in parliament that the government has made almost €310.5 million from selling Maltese citizenship, a sum which does not include the cuts and fees taken by Henley & Partners and by commission agents and ‘recommenders’ in Malta and abroad.

And yet, nobody knows where the money is. When asked about it by Reno Bugeja on TVM last week, the Prime Minister hemmed and hawed and pretty much said “in bank accounts, eh…bank accounts here and bank accounts there”.

Bugeja wasn’t ready with the obvious come-back: that the government had pledged a whole chunk of that money would go into a special fund for special projects, and that he had even set up a committee to administer the fund, headed by former Chamber of Commerce president David Curmi, who is, for reasons best known to himself, one of the Prime Minister’s and the Labour Party’s foremost lackeys of the last few years.

As recently as last June, I had rung Mr Curmi to ask him where the money is and what the special fund is doing with it, given that the government has been selling Maltese citizenship for three years already so many millions must have been banked. He told me that the government has not transferred any of that money to the Development Fund and that the fund did not even have any bank accounts. He said, four months ago, that the fund was “still in the process of setting up accounts at the Central Bank in which to receive the money”.

Read more about it here and also here.