Naomi Fowler ■ Passports and residency for sale in our October 2017 podcast


In this month’s Taxcast we look at the booming business of passports and residency for sale, and why it should worry us all. Also:

  • even the IMF now advocates wealth taxes to combat inequality, yet governments around the world – most recently President Macron of France – are going in the opposite direction despite all the evidence that it’s a bad idea
  • we discuss how Russia and the US are now world leaders in inequality
  • and good news – the European Commission has ordered Luxembourg to claim back $293 million in taxes from Amazon in another ruling on illegal state aid.

This Taxcast is dedicated to the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s best-known investigative journalist who was murdered by a car bomb, a cowardly attack on all those who refuse to accept the corruption and state capture of our institutions and democracies by dirty money and financial secrecy. Our statement on the loss of this great citizen is here.

Featuring: Journalist and author Oliver Bullough (his book on passports and residency for sale ‘Moneyland’ is due out in 2018 and is published by Profile Books), senior policy advisor at Oxfam Novib Francis Weyzig and John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler.

Selling citizenship is just an interesting iteration of offshore, because essentially, all you’re doing is selling your sovereignty…The due diligence is outsourced. The marketing is outsourced. The country just puts its name on the passport and takes the cash. Every person they turn away on due diligence grounds is a person whose money they are not going to get.”

Journalist and author Oliver Bullough

The IMF have come to this huge shift in their policy advisories…what we’re witnessing here is a really important sea change in the global tax consensus…”

John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network

Want more Taxcasts? The full playlist is here (our new Taxcast library) and here. Or here.

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Comments • 1

  • rob
    October 24, 2017 - 2:57 pm

    Thank you for taking this initiative and carrying on the fight that Daphne risked her life for.

    Today the EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a letter to EU Greens MEPs dated October 23 that “based on the information available so far, there appear to be no grounds to suspect a systematic breach of Union law pertaining to the prevention of money laundering” in Malta.

    More info here:

    The above statement is absurd. Five police commissioners or acting commissioners changed in less than five years. One of them resigned within 24 hours of receiving the final reports from the financial fraud entity showing evidence of money laundering and corruption by top Maltese officials. Why has the attorney general of Malta not proceeded with charging the chief of staff and the Energy Minister? Why have these officials not felt the decency to at least resign? Even a magistrate declared there are grounds for investigation. There are so many questions about the rule of law in Malta and the very obvious money laundering that if the EU wants to continue being respected than Brussels MUST take action NOW!

    The government of Malta is a farce. If the PM is serious about welcoming foreign assistance with the murder then he should have been calling Europol or Scotland Yard last week. Instead they enlisted some dutch forensic help and are pretending to get some professional FBI assistance for any investigations that they are not able to carry out. What they do not want to admit is that they do not know how to solve these kind of terrorist acts and furthermore they have no desire to solve it.

    The OECD spends so much resources on creating the CRS which, although is well intentioned, has the unfortunate consequence of exposing innocent people who choose to keep their wealth away from their own criminal governments. I expect the OECD to to put full pressure to fight all the money laundering discoveries made by Daphne because ultimately these are the crimes that go against democracy and which effect the wellbeing of generations to come.

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