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EU Wants to Crack Down on Passport Buying After Money-Laundering Scandals

  • EU Commission sounds alarm over granting visas, passports
  • Cyprus says it’s unfairly targeted, Bulgaria to amend its law

Photographer: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

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The European Union sounded the alarm on so-called “golden visas,” saying the practice of granting residence to foreigners in return for investments exposes the bloc to money-laundering and security risks.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said it will intensify the scrutiny of such schemes to make sure that standards on transparency and governance are upheld. The problem is especially pronounced in Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria, where individuals have been able to obtain an EU passport for investments starting at 800,000 euros, the commission said in a report.