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Tuesday, October 23 • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
'Golden ticket' or 'Get of jail free card'? How to Stop the Corrupt from Buying Citizenship

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Global Witness and the Global Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) are joining forces to ensure that citizenship- and residency-by-investment are not open to abuse by the corrupt and the criminal.

The panel discussion will: raise the awareness of the global anti-corruption community to the multifaceted risks posed by the citizenship- and residency-by-investment schemes on offer in the European Union and other jurisdictions; discuss our recommendations for reducing risks (e.g. enhanced due diligence, transparency standards, application of AML regulations); test our policy recommendations and understanding of the schemes with a global audience; and showcase the investigations, methodology and success of the GACC.

This will be the first time that the full gamut of risks posed by CBI and RBI schemes - and the means to tackle them - will be discussed on a world stage. It will also be the first time that an active GACC campaign will be profiled.

To reach safe haven many corrupt officials avail themselves of "citizenship by investment" or "residency by investment" schemes. We contend that these schemes are a key part of the ‘corruption toolkit’ that enables the corrupt to enjoy the proceeds of their crimes, avoid red flags, and evade prosecution. As such, these schemes are effectively a ‘get out of jail free’ card that allow nefarious individuals to continue their corrupt activity in their jurisdiction of choice, enjoying global mobility and the additional rights and safety conferred by new residency and citizenship. These concerns are borne out by numerous investigations that have published over the past year. Stories uncovered by the GACC have revealed how these schemes risk enabling the corrupt to achieve safe haven and have the potential to corrupt the state itself when these schemes are poorly run and too-easily exploited by corrupt figures.

As a result of the panel:
  • Attendees will find out how CBI & RBI schemes form part of the ‘corruption toolkit’.
  • Campaigners will be inspired by the GACC methodology and equipped to lobby governments to review their exposure to the risks posed by CBI & RBI schemes and call for stronger due diligence and transparency measures.
  • Investigators will be informed of the policy and advocacy context surrounding CBI & RBI schemes.
  • Due-diligence professionals will be informed of the due diligence needed to identify risks associated with CBI & RBI applicants.
  • Government officials will be made aware of the risks involved the schemes and how to mitigate them.
  • Campaigners and investigative journalists will be empowered to connect with Global Witness and the GACC in order to grow the campaign worldwide.
After the panel, participants will be able join a mailing list to receive new research and campaign updates and will be invited to take part in social media advocacy efforts focused on the 2019 European elections.

Session Rapporteur: Cornelia Abel

avatar for Mike Davis

Mike Davis

Director of Campaigns, Planning & Evaluation, Global Witness
Mike Davis is Director of Campaigns, Planning and Evaluation at Global Witness and coordinates work across its 15 campaigns. From 2013 to the end of 2016 Mike was Global Witness’ representative in Asia. In this role he oversaw the organisation’s work in China and conducted a year-long... Read More →

avatar for Laure Brillaud

Laure Brillaud

Anti-Money Laundering Policy Officer, TI EU
Laure joined Transparency International EU in 2016 and leads the work on Anti-Money Laundering. Prior to that, she worked at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In particular, she conducted policy analysis and outreach on corruption in the extractive... Read More →
avatar for Susana Coroado

Susana Coroado

Board member, TI-Portugal
Susana Coroado is the Vice-Chairwoman of Transparency International Portugal. Before taking the position, she was a researcher for over six years, having authored several reports, namely on the national integrity system, lobbying, SDG16, money laundering and golden visas. Susana is... Read More →
avatar for Sara Farolfi

Sara Farolfi

Investigative Reporter, IRPI
Sara Farolfi is an Italian freelance journalist and a member of the Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI). Her stories have been published by the Guardian and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). She was a key investigative reporter in the cross-border... Read More →
avatar for Ana Gomez MEP

Ana Gomez MEP

Member, European Parliament for Portugal
Ana Gomes is a Member of the European Parliament, since 2004. Her main interests are the build up of a united Europe and the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the EU and in the world. In the European Parliament, she tries to mainstream these concerns by being... Read More →
avatar for Sylwia Wolos

Sylwia Wolos

Head of Proposition, Thomson Reuters
Sylwia Wolos is Head of Enhanced Due Diligence Proposition for Thomson Reuters. She has a decade of hands-on experience in public domain research and investigation, gained through establishing and managing regional EDD operations teams. Sylwia has contributed to the development of... Read More →

Workshop Coordinators

Ava Lee

Senior Anti-Corruption Communications Advisor, Global Witness

Naomi Hirst

Senior Campaigner, Global Witness

Tuesday October 23, 2018 12:00pm - 2:00pm CEST
Workshop Room 1
  Workshop, Panel Debate
  • Organiser Global Witness