The Bulgarian authorities have reported this Friday that the country has revoked the so-called ‘golden passports’ to twelve people after detecting possible irregularities in the granting of these documents, issued in an attempt to encourage foreign investment in the country.
The Minister of Justice, Krum Zarkov, has indicated in statements to the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency that five other cases are also being studied after these passports raised the controversy.
Thus, he explained that a total of 120 passports of this type have been granted, which have been harshly criticized from the main European institutions. Passports allow tycoons and millionaires from third countries to obtain citizenship in exchange for investing large sums of money.
Now, the Bulgarian National State Security Agency is reviewing the granting of these passports, although no information has been disclosed on the identities of those whose citizenship has been revoked.
In mid-2021, Yanaki Stoilov, the then acting Minister of Justice, approved handing over information about these passports to the national security agency. Subsequently, her successor in office, Nadezhda Yordanova, explained that the authorities had registered five cases of serious violations of the procedure for obtaining citizenship and that the Government had opened an investigation in this regard.
In total, there were 47 suspected cases. “The Ministry of Justice has shown that when there is sufficiently clear data, it does not hesitate when sending a proposal to the president to withdraw citizenship,” Zarkov stressed in an attempt to defend the transparency of the Government.