Wargaming and the Cyprus Passports – More Info

The Cypriot authorities found violations in the issuance of “golden passports” to Wargaming employees.

The 64 Wargaming employees who received Cyprus Golden Passports during 2014-2017 did not meet the investment program criteria. This was announced by the auditor general of Cyprus (Odysseas Mikhailides) in an official report.

The fact that Wargaming employees received “golden passports” in violation of the terms of the Cyprus investment scheme was reported on December 1 by the Cypriot edition of Stockwatch with a link to the interim report of the Audit service. The report was published by the Auditor General of Cyprus Odysseas Mikhailides on November 27: it does not mention the name of the Wargaming company, but mentions a certain “company A”, but Mikhailides informed the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Attorney General of Cyprus which company is in question, says Stockwatch.

• The company with Belarusian roots Wargaming, which is the developer of the popular game World of Tanks and is headquartered in Nicosia, employs 400 people, it is the second largest shareholder of Hellenic Bank with a 20.6% share. In addition, Wargaming is one of the largest tax residents in Cyprus, which has invested tens of millions of euros in the republic, says Stockwatch.

The Office of the Auditor General, based on various information that he was able to obtain, identified 64 people who received Cypriot citizenship (naturalization) as being involved in “Company A”, the report says. “Company A” has been operating in Cyprus since 2011 and is engaged in international activities: it has chosen Cyprus as a place for investment and for the establishment of its headquarters, the document says. According to the auditor, out of 64 people, 30 received a Cyprus passport in 2014, 11 people – in 2015, 12 people – in 2016 and 11 more people in 2017 (until May). During this period, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Cyprus was Socrates Hasikos, the document says.

Of the 64 people, 27 worked in “company A”, the inspectors found out: among them there are three spouses of employees who also work in the company and may have received citizenship as dependents, the document says. “The remaining 37 people, apparently, did not work in ‘company A’, but received citizenship as related to it. These may be the heads of the company working abroad or even not related to it”, the report says.

Obtaining citizenship implies that the top manager must have such a remuneration in the company that allows Cyprus to receive € 100,000 in tax for at least three years, while the tax must have already been paid or paid in advance. In addition, the Golden Passport applicant must own a private property with a market value of at least € 500,000 plus VAT.

Due to government obstacles, the audit service was able to verify Wargaming employees only on these two criteria, the report says: at the same time, the service was not able to verify whether the holders of the “golden passports” had criminal records, the origin of the money invested in Cyprus, and whether those who received it paid € 2,000 for applying and € 5,000 for a certificate of citizenship.

As a result, the audit service came to the conclusion that none of the 64 audited persons met both criteria, and the fact that they received “golden passports” could be an abuse of power.

Among the violations, the auditors name cases when some holders of “golden passports” claimed that they lived on certain streets or in certain apartments, but the documents referred to land plots, parking lots or unfinished buildings, on which work has long ceased. This means that these people or lawyers on their behalf may have lied about their place of residence in order to obtain Cypriot citizenship, the inspectors say.

Of the 64 Wargaming employees audited, only seven own real estate. Two of them bought houses worth over € 500,000, another five bought houses below this price. However, these transactions took place after the company’s employees received citizenship, so even these two people should have been denied their application, the document says.

A Wargaming representative declined to comment.

Source: Forbes Russia.

10 thoughts on “Wargaming and the Cyprus Passports – More Info

  1. God bless Cyprus for doing the right thing on these WG criminals!

    Please take it one step further and shut them down completely so that they can only eat potato for Xmas.

    1. I will never understand where the extreme hate for people doing their jobs comes from, especially towards wargaming. If you want to hate anyone, hate the people in charge, not the people working their asses off trying to make a life for themselves and their families.

      But this is the WoT/WoWs community, the single most toxic group of ego driven and spiteful people you’ll ever regret coming in contact with, so I’m not surprised when I see people wishing poverty and extreme hardships on others who dont deserve it.

      1. Sure the minions are not evil. They are just serving the valians for a LIVING.

        but do you think the law cares? NO. A good law sytem punish them ALL. However, the reality is, big valians can sometimes even get away with it just because they have access to skillful lawyers. Hence, the law always punish the minions (and valians that suck, i.e. no money to pay for a skillful lawyer). Get use to it, this is LIFE.

        Go go go Cyprus officers! Take them down before Xmas for you own extra bonus for your family!

        #BlueLifeMatters

        1. “Sure the minions are not evil. They are just serving the valians for a LIVING……..A good law sytem punish them ALL.”

          How very socialist/communist of you. I bet you hate capitalism too.

          1. Haha, unfortuantely, you BET wrong. Why would I hate captalism? I’m a lawyer. People like you are just consumbles to me.

            Judging by the fact that you lowlife like gambling so much just like WG, I assume you must be a member of the former Soviet country. You stinky communist spy.

            Plus, you miss the big point of my paragraph:
            Those WG employees deserve the punishment (if there will be any). Because they choose the lifestyle to serve the big valians. Big valians might get away but not them. Cause no one will save them as they are not important. Just like you little lowlife peasent former Soviet citizen.

            Just go gamble more and get sonsumed by the lovely beautiful capitialism that isn’t built for you to enjoy. This is just LIFE.

      2. Like you said, it’s just hate. I was furious with wargaming a few years ago shortly after the first campaign came out because they had dropped numerous wildly overpowered Russian premiums in the same year. They’ve gotten a lot better. My previous employer used to demand employees commit crime or lose their jobs. My manager personally tried to demand that I ignore jury duty and come in that day. It wouldn’t be surprising whatsoever if we have a similar situation here.

        Out of curiosity OP where are you from?

  2. What a lovely mentality these higher ups at this company have…..One would almost think they fit a stereotype in terms their geographic origin.

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