The concerns that several officials of the European Union have repeatedly voiced concerning the threats posed to the EU by Malta's issuance of CBI passports to applicants from high-risk jurisdictions are well founded. CBI passports have been issued, in large numbers, to Iranians, Russians, and other Middle Eastern nationals, and there are other grounds for concern regarding CBI passport nationals from other developing countries.
One specific category of applicants that are of particular interest to the EU are Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), as those individuals often have direct access to government funds, hold senior positions as government purchasing agents, making them targets for bribes and kickbacks, or can divert government funding to illegal, personal use. A PEP armed with a Malta CBI passport has visa-free access to all of the countries of the European Union, and more.
We note that statistics are showing a 125% increase in CBI applications from nationals from the Republic of South Africa, whose passports require a visa to enter most advanced Western countries. The fact that only one-half of the applicants are white South Africans is disturbing, because most of the remaining South Africans cannot afford Malta's substantial CBI fees, which require that the applicant be a high net worth individual. While there are affluent South African businessman, they are only a very small percentage of the population.
Some South African government officials are among the applicants, notwithstanding their extremely low salaries, giving rise to the presumption that the Source of Funds for their application fees are illicit income, such as bribes and kickbacks, trafficking in illegal substances, smuggling, and financing of terrorist organizations. Given the favorable political position of major South African political figures towards sanctioned Middle East organizations, terrorist financing is a serious concern.
Therefore, we have corrupt South African PEPs, armed with Malta CGI passports, giving them visa-free entry to the EU, free to place their criminal proceeds in European banks, while enjoying the privileges of their Schengen zone status. Can anyone say Country Risk ?