Complete Exoneration for Chetcuti Cauchi; “No Evidence of Collusion,” Citizenship Regulator

November 12 00:00 2019 by The Editor Print This Article

Leading Malta Citizenship Agent presented only reputable investors

The Office of the Regulator for the Individual Investor Programme (ORiip) has concluded, after a six-week review of all Malta IIP applications submitted by the firm, that Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates is innocent of all allegations brought against it by a French TV channel in September.

Regulator finds no evidence to support allegations

In what can only be characterised as a complete and unequivocal vindication for the law firm, ORiip stated in its report on the matter that they had “not uncovered any red flags which support, in all or in part, the purported allegations." 

No records were found of applicants having a criminal record or of applications being presented for the Minister’s consideration more than once. 

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 preferential treatment.

The independent regulator further found there was no basis for the allegation that Chetcuti Cauchi had enjoyed a 100% application success rate, and calculated that, in reality, only 16% of the firm’s applications were not approved,. The review also stated there was nothing to indicate the company had ever attempted to “get around the selection criteria.”

Even in the hypothetical case that the firm had attempted to circumvent procedures “the stringent checks and balances which are in place would have ensured that such attempts would have been futile,” concluded the Malta Citizenship Regulator.

Acquittal of Malta Citizenship Firm, Malta Citizenship Agency

The results of the inquiry represent not only an acquittal of the agent in question, but also of the Maltese citizenship program’s integrity and structure of fail-safe mechanisms, drawn into question by the French programme. The findings, by extension and implication, also amount to a scathing indictment of the methods employed by the undercover reporters of France’s M6.

Chetcuti Cauchi represented the Malta Citizenship Programme honourably - Raw Footage

Chetcuti Cauchi, arguably the biggest local contributor of applications to the Maltese citizenship programme, has now been completely reinstated viz-a-viz the Malta Individual Investor Programme.

Attacks on Malta's Citizenship by Investment Programme

Back in September, the Maltese IIP programme received what looked like the usual attack on the credibility of Malta's citizenship programme . This time, however, a journalist claimed to have hidden camera footage of representatives of the firm saying they can assist criminals get access to Europe through a Maltese passport!  Outrageous claims not supported by the footage the hidden camera meeting published by French TV, where the journalist completely voices-over Chetcuti Cauchi's words (in English) with the message (in French) that fit their agenda. 

Who are Chetcuti Cauchi?

Chetcuti Cauchi rose to fame in the IIP with the announcement in early 2014 of its investor clients being the first Maltese citizenship approvals under the MIIP.  The firm continues to publish extensive research in the area of investment promotion, including publications on global citizenship programmes such as the Dual Citizenship Report, edited by Dr Chetcuti. 

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti is very visible as a guest speaker at several international conferences as a lawyer specialising in investing in Malta. Commentators attribute this fact as the possible reason for singling him out for a media attack on Malta.

Malta ranks first in Chetcuti Cauchi's CIP Due Diligence Index, that researched due diligence applied by Citizenship by Investment programmes. This backs government assertions that the MIIP's due diligence was an international gold standard. Though the firm is not involved in politics, another of its studies, the CIP Index, ranks Malta first on objective rating criteria against other European and Non-European programmes, and was also seen as giving credibility to the Maltese programme and again, may have attracted this attack by opponents of the MIIP or of the Maltese Government.

Updated after Developments in January 2020 

Raw footage obtained by court order in December 2019 and published by Chetcuti Cauchi proves how, even tested in hidden-camera circumstances, the Maltese citizenship firm honourably represented the strictness and seriousness of the IIP's due diligence standard, and emphasised the selectiveness of the firm's client on-boarding rules.

Chetcuti Cauchi Raw Footage clears Malta's foremost IIP Agent