Swindlers selling fake Montenegrin citizenships to Turks
Dinçer Gökçe – ISTANBUL
Several Turks have been scammed by swindlers “promising” them Montenegrin citizenship for prices varying between 7,000 and 12,000 euros.
“[Swindlers] Some say they provide consultancy services, some say they are a tourism agency… They charge prices between 7,000 and 12,000 euros under the promise of Montenegro’s citizenship,” Akkan Suver, who has been serving as the Honorary Consul General of Montenegro since 2008, has said.
“People travel to Montenegro with the [fake] documents they were given. Naturally, they face the truth here,” Suver told daily Hürriyet.
Suver has expressed that this situation hurts the reputation of Turkey in Montenegro.
“[Swindlers] have many websites. They even have set up an office in a huge building very near the consulate building [in Istanbul]. ‘Consulate’ is not inscribed on top of the building but the abbreviation of consultancy is. Of course, people cannot really tell the difference,” he said.
After years of consideration, Montenegro, one of the fastest-growing economies in the Balkans, has launched an attractive citizenship-by-investment program by allowing the expansion of various forms of business from abroad.
Starting this year, its government will grant citizenship by investment in 2,000 qualifying entrepreneurs from non-EU countries for a limited period of three years.
As per the scheme, foreign investors will be considered eligible for naturalization by exception if they either invest 250,000 euros in projects located in non-developed areas of Montenegro or 450,000 euros in projects located in developed areas of the country.
Montenegro’s citizenship-by-investment program has also attracted many Turkish nationals, with many getting in line to benefit from this opportunity.