Analysis of IIP Applications presented by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
Press Release by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Processes
The government is publishing the full report of the Office of the Regulator of the Individual Investor Programme, following a request on 23rd September 2019 for an investigation into the allegations reported by the programme Enquete Exclusive, aired on a French television station, regarding the Maltese Individual Investor Programme. The French programme allegedly reported an interview with a Maltese agent. Immediately after the airing of the programme, the licence of the Maltese agent, Chetcuti Cauchi Advisors, was suspended pending investigations.
Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli has welcomed the detailed analysis of the report and the resulting conclusions.
The report clearly states ‘There was no indication of collusion between the Agent and the responsible Minister (or with the Agency) or that the former, at any point, since the start of the programme, had ever received any preferential treatment. The allegation that the Agent enjoyed a hundred per cent success rate was incorrect since it was calculated that 16 per cent of his applications were not approved. There was also no evidence that the agent had attempted to find a way around the selection criteria. Nonetheless, if this were to be the case, the stringent checks and balances, which are in place, would have ensured that such attempts would be futile.’
The report points out that ‘in particular no applicants with a criminal background were ever included in an application presented by the Agent’ More specifically, in Observation number 8, the report explains ‘A thorough analysis of all applicants revealed that this was not the case and that none of the applicants (forming part of applications presented by CCA) ever had any criminal records. When considering all vetted applications (i.e. including those submitted by the other Agents), the Oriip is aware only of one incident, when the main applicant had a criminal record. The Agent in question was not CCA and the application was refused outrightly.’
The report also concludes ‘Therefore if the allegations made by the presenter/ narrator of the French programme in relation to statements/declarations by CCA are ultimately proven to be true, then the Oriip, can only conclude that the Agent (CCA) could be charged with disseminating totally misleading information for reasons best known to him, probably by way of an insensible sales promotion as a result of which a) the Individual Investor Programme was unduly put in very bad light both locally and b) the persons referred by CAA in the reported interview i.e. the Prime Minister, Minister Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli – were grossly slandered.’
With immediate effect, Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia has ordered an analysis of the recommendations put forward in the report.