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Kenyan billionaire says Cypriot citizenship complies with the law

Kenyan billionaire Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa

Kenyan billionaire Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa, who was granted a Cypriot passport through the citizenship-by-investment programme and has been named as one of the 26 people under government scrutiny for revocation, took to Twitter on Friday to defend himself.

“I wish to inform you of development regarding my Cypriot passport which has fueled inaccurate speculations in media reports, as well as on social media platforms,” he posted.

“Recently, the government of Cyprus has made the decision to review all passports under the Cyprus Investment Scheme before 2018.

“The audit will be led by an internal committee, set up by the government, which will be in charge of reviewing these individual passport awards to ensure they met regulatory requirements for the scheme applicable at the time of approval.

“While I understand my passport is part of the audit process, having been granted before 2018, I have no doubt that my application is fully compliant with the regulatory requirements.

“As a law-abiding citizen, I will fully support the mandated process in Cyprus with any requirements or further information needed to undertake the review swiftly.”

Kariuki was granted a Cypriot passport in 2016. He is also under investigation for tax evasion by the authorities in Kenya.

The cabinet announced on November 6 its intention to revoke 26 citizenships obtained through the investment programme up to 2018.

Although no names of passport holders were officially released, the names were made public earlier this week.

Along with Ndegwa and his wife, the list names include Malaysian Jho Taek Low who is wanted in connection with alleged financial crimes and eight Cambodians closely connected to the country’s authoritarian regime.

These include Im Paulika and her husband Aun Pornmoniroth who is Cambodia’s finance minister and Choeung Sopheap and her husband Lao Meng Khin, who is an MP. Cambodian leader Hun Sen’s niece Hun Kimleng and her husband who is Cambodia’s national police chief and their two daughters are also on the list.

Three Russians, their spouses and children are also among the 26.

Chinese national Zhang Shumin, reportedly linked to a gold scam, his wife and three children are on the same list.

All 26 have the right to appeal the decision.

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