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Cyprus strips citizenships after uproar over passports following a Reuters investigation

FILE PHOTO: Photo illustration of a Cypriot passport, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/Illustration/File Photo - RC2Q5D9KC3U8

By Reuters Communications

Yesterday a Reuters report revealed that Cyprus had started a process to strip 26 individuals of citizenship they received under a secretive passports-for-investment scheme, admitting it had flaws. The news comes after Reuters correspondents Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall reported last month a list of Cambodian beneficiaries, including its police chief and finance minister. The Reuters investigation showed that influential police, business and political associates of Cambodia’s long-time ruler, Prime Minister Hun Sen, had overseas assets worth tens of millions of dollars.

Andrew shared background on how the investigation took off: “The story really began with photos on Instagram and Facebook,” said Andrew, “These not only showed that the family of Hun Sen, Cambodia’s prime minister, led very expensive lifestyles, but also helped us locate some of the properties they owned. We had heard rumours that some of Hun Sen’s relatives and allies had second passports, and so we travelled to Cyprus and Cambodia to get the data and documentation that proved it.”

Andrew, who is based in London, reported from Nicosia and Paphos in Cyprus, while Clare, who is based in Hong Kong, reported from Cambodian capital Phnom.

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[Reuters PR Blog Post]

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