Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General has asked the Justice Minister to recommend to the President the withdrawal of the Bulgarian citizenship of an Egyptian and a Pakistani, the Prosecutor’s Office said on July 18.
The recommendation is being made because, in each case, the individuals allegedly concealed facts that would have prevented them being granted citizenship, and also failed to implement the investments that served as the basis for giving them citizenship, the statement said.
The announcement follows a statement by the Prosecutor’s Office in June 2019 asking for the withdrawal of the Bulgarian passports of three Russians and a Kazakhstan national, on similar grounds.
The requests for the withdrawal of the citizenships follow alerts from the State Agency for National Security to the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office.
Investigations by the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office into other cases were continuing, the statement said.
In January 2019, Bulgaria’s Justice Ministry said that it was proposing amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act which would scrap the possibility of obtaining citizenship through investing in the country, among other steps to refine the requirements for applicants for citizenship.
Under current law, citizenship of Bulgaria may be obtained by an individual who invests a minimum 500 000 euro in a year, doubling this in the second year.
Officials recently said that there had been very few application for Bulgarian citizenship on this basis.
An analysis of the records has shown that the objective of increasing real foreign investments and economic development had not been achieved. As a result, job creation and economic development had not followed from the citizenship-for-investment provision in the law.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)