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Why Kenyan billionaire and his wife risk losing citizenship

Citizenship under threat

Kenyan billionaire and his wife risk losing citizenship

Kenyan billionaire Humphrey Kariuki and his wife Stella Nasike are among 26 passports holders the Cyprus government intends to revoke their citizenry.

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Kariuki is on the list over charges he faces in Kenya for tax evasion related to his alcohol production and distribution business.

Reports by the Cyprus Mail intimated that the two are among a group of wealthy individuals who are under scrutiny and stand to lose their Cypriot citizenship.

The 26 foreign investors and their family members from outside the European Union risk having their European Golden Visas stripped by the Cyprus government.

Cyprus' president pledged to revoke any of his island republic's passports found to have been "mistakenly" granted to wealthy overseas investors under a controversial cash-for-citizenship program.

Corruption on golden passports

The President, Nicos Anastasiades said errors may have been made in granting such so-called golden passports under an earlier, laxer version of the program.

"Citizenship will be taken away from anyone who received it in violation of the strict criteria that are required, full stop," Anastasiades was quoted by a Cyrus daily.

Wealthy investors from other countries acquire the golden passport since they can also become EU citizens and can travel and work freely within the bloc.

In August, billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki was charged with nine counts relating to tax evasion amounting to Ksh17 billion.

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