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Dimitris Dimitriadis to the Research Committee: My brother's minister was not involved in the golden passports

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Dimitris Dimitriadis in the Research Committee: My brother's minister was not involved in the golden passports

“Our law firm did not receive any privileged treatment and treatment due to the fact that my brother was a minister.” This was made clear by the lawyer and partner in the law firm Andreas Dimitriadis & Co., Dimitris Dimitriadis, challenging, at the same time, any person who has information to the contrary to make them public.

In particular, submitting yesterday before the investigative committee for the “golden” passports, Mr. Dimitriadis stated that his brother and former Minister of Transport Marios Dimitriadis (14/3/2014 – 28/2/2018) has no shareholding relationship with the lawyer office, did not cooperate with him professionally, nor did his ministry have a relationship and involvement with the Cyprus Investment Program (KEP). Indicating, at the same time, that the law firm was very careful. Mr. Dimitriadis referred to the interim conclusion of the research committee, noting that the conclusion itself states that the members of the Council of Ministers approved the exceptional naturalization of investors without knowing the providers. He also said that all the applications submitted by the law firm for the issuance of “golden” passports, 303 in their entirety, met the criteria. Therefore, he pointed out, there was no reason to ask for intervention or derogation from anyone. It is noted that, during the ministerial term of Marios Dimitriadis, 137 “golden” passports were approved by the Council of Ministers with the provision of his family's law office, with Marios Dimitriadis voting in favor of their approval.

Chinese investors

According to Mr. Dimitriadis, the law firm Andreas Dimitriadis & Co. submitted a total of 303 applications for the issuance of “golden” passports, of which 77 applications are currently pending. Seven applications from investors for exceptional naturalization were rejected, of which five appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the decisions of the competent state services. Asked about the reasons for rejection, Mr. Dimitriadis referred to some of the cases where civil cases were pending against the applicants-investors in their country and was considered a reason for rejection. With Mr. Dimitriadis emphatically emphasizing that all seven investors who were rejected met all the criteria of KEP.

Asked by the members of the investigative committee how and in what way the law firm located the investors, given that, in fact, larger law firms have filed far fewer applications for “golden” passports, Mr. Dimitriadis attributed the fact to three main reasons: to the large clientele of the office after 50 years of operation, to the fact that the law firm has a large group of lawyers specializing in the real estate sector, as well as to the fact that the office represents a large number of investors from China. “79% of the investor applications we represented come from China and Hong Kong. “If we did not have this specific clientele, our requests would not exceed 75”, he commented. He further stated that the law firm participated in several international sessions organized in China, Hong Kong and Dubai with the aim of promoting KEP.

Mr. Dimitriadis answered in the affirmative to the question whether there were cases of Chinese who changed their name after their naturalization. According to Mr. Dimitriadis, the reason was “to Europeanize their name”. Asked whether his law firm cooperated with a developer selling real estate to his Chinese clients, Mr. Dimitriadis replied: “We do not cooperate with a developer. It is not our job. (…) We did not receive any kind of commission. It's not in our temperament. “

Dimitris Dimitriadis admitted that it was not easy to control who the Chinese investors were. “In some cases we have encountered several difficulties. We asked for a clear criminal record, both from the country of origin and residence, as well as from the country of their passport. In addition, searches were conducted online. “And since 2015 we had installed a special program strengthening our controls,” he said. From what he remembers, he added, there were two cases of investors where during the audits of who they found information that justified the information of the Anti-Concealment Unit.

Up to € 30,000 fee

According to Mr. Dimitriadis, the fees of his law firm for each investor application ranged from € 10,000 to € 18,000 and in very exceptional cases reached € 30,000. Additionally, for each dependent there was an additional charge of € 2,000. As he explained, the charges were determined according to the number of investments and the applications that had to be completed.

Payment of € 3 million with a visa

The member of the research committee Dimitra Kalogirou referred to the naturalization by the law firm Andreas Dimitriadis & SIA of a couple of Kabotians who belonged to the category of politically exposed persons but hid it. Ms. Kalogirou wondered what was the control carried out by the law firm in this case, indicating that the Cambodians secured a Cypriot passport with false representations, in fact, buying a property worth € 3 million by paying by credit card (visa ). Specifically, 20 transactions of € 150,000 were made with a credit card. Mr. Dimitriadis did not want to comment on this case because, as he said, he did not have the relevant file before him. At the same time, he expressed his readiness to provide any information requested in relation to this case, for which, it should be noted, a criminal investigation is underway. Among other things, the crime of forgery is being investigated.

CIPA and incompatible

The second and last witness before the investigative committee testified the chairman of the board. of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Organization (CIPA) Michalis Michail. CIPA, which is funded by the state with an annual budget of up to € 2 million, is the competent authority for attracting foreign investment and in this context it also promoted the KEP. Mr. Michael was asked if there is a conflict of interest and professional incompatibility due to the fact that until recently he was a partner in KPMG, which is one of the providers of KEP with the most “golden” passports. Mr. Michael replied that he did not consider anything wrong to be due, because, as he said, he had never dealt with the KEP at KPMG. It is noted that other members of the board. of CIPA, mainly lawyers, auditors, land development entrepreneurs, etc. were involved in the KEP and the “golden” passports, since they or the companies that belong to them or work provided consulting services in relation to the KEP or sold real estate / houses or promoted applications for “golden” passports.

Mr. Michael also referred to the intervention of the predecessor of Christodoulos Agastiniotis for the adoption of a code of conduct for providers, which resulted in stopping the unacceptable and illegal actions of law firms, accounting firms and developers that advertised abroad and abroad. airports the “golden” passports, using national symbols such as the Cypriot flag and the Cypriot passport. “It was one of the biggest problems we faced. That is, as soon as you get off the plane to see a sign 'get a passport with so much to travel everywhere' and so on “, Mr. Michael pointed out.

Nikolatos Committee / President of Invest Cyprus: We took our eyes off with our hands

MOKAS to Research Committee: We did not have an institutional role in naturalizations

Gold passports: At the big diner and real estate agents – Checks that were not done

Source: politis.com.cy

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