The Hush Post| 14:37 pm |two-minute-read
The Chinese and Russians have been the top procurers of foreign citizenship in recent years. But post-Mehul Choksi, wealthy Indians are buying foreign passports too.
There is a suspicion that several Indian businessmen, who have erred or have not been able to pay dues of banks are looking to settle abroad, not the Vijay Mallya way but the Mehul Choksi way.
Choksi bought citizenship in Antigua. Interest regarding schemes that offer citizenship or residence rights in return for investment has soared among Indians.
Some UK-based firms are actively involved in arranging such foreign citizenships. They are claiming that the inquiry form Indians has doubled since 2017.
Henley & Partners have their headquarters in Jersey. They not only advise but also educate and bring to the table residence-by-investment programmes. It saw global inquiries rise by 320 per cent. There was also a big increase in Indian inquiries in the past. Knightsbridge Capital Partners is a London-based company which sells second citizenship to high-net-worth individuals. They have claimed a “70-80 per cent year-on-year increase in inquiries from Indians.”
Dominik Volek, the South-East Asia head at Henley & Partners said, “The push factor for Indians and also for Chinese and Russians are lifestyle, education, transport, clean air, and healthcare.” He explained, “Often, it is about having a plan B. About 80-90 per cent of our clients don’t leave home, but have a second citizenship or residence in readiness. You only have to spend 7 days a year if you get the golden visa to Portugal.”
However, what these companies don’t tell is that a prime reason for them to apply for a foreign passport apart from education, healthcare is also to park their ill-gotten money.