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EU: ‘Golden visas’ bring corruption and money laundering in their wake

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The European Union is set to urge member states on Wednesday to crack down on schemes to grant “golden visas” to foreign investors, warning they bring corruption and money laundering in their wake.

The European Commission will publish its first report urging members to curb “the practice of giving wealthy foreigners – often Chinese, Russians and Americans – residency or citizenship in return for investment,” EU official said.

“These schemes pose a number of risks, in terms of security, money laundering or tax evasion,” the official said.

If member states fail to tighten their rules and become more transparent “we will take action if necessary,” the official was quoted as saying.

Wealthy candidates for residency or citizenship do not face sufficient security and background checks to prevent them from posing a security risk or laundering money, according to the report.