The wife and son of Subrata Roy Sahara have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia, a country in the central Balkan peninsula in South-East Europe, which is attracting foreign investment by offering citizenship, say reliable sources.
Sushanto Roy and Swapna Roy, the son and wife of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Macedonia, a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in South-East Europe. There is talk about another key director also acquiring Macedonian citizenship.
While Subrata Roy remains in jail for failing to obey orders of the Supreme Court (SC) of India, key members of the Roy family, who are part of the powerful private investment companies that control all the funds collected by the group are not even Indian nationals any longer.
Interestingly, we learn that Mr Subrata Roy himself has been a state guest in Macedonia several times. He is understood to have proposed to build a huge statue of Mother Theresa in Macedonia. There was also talk about setting up a swank Casino there.
Moneylife sent emails to Sahara Group’s PR agency on Friday for a response. Its key PR contact responded by telling us that this is a three year old issue and that many companies and businessmen have been acquiring Macedonian citizenship. However he did not want to be quoted or named.
According to an official from Sahara group, who does not want to be named, the Macedonian citizenship has been taken by Sushanto and his mother almost a year back. “The reason is that we are going for three big businesses in Macedonia. One is a dairy, which will export to many countries from there. For this fairy we have already got around 14,000 acres of land from Macedonian government. Second project is a seven star hospitality on the line of Las Vegas. It will be a ‘Las Vegas’ for European Countries, India and Middle East. The third project is a complete indoor setup for movie production. We are getting dozens of advantages (due to this citizenship) right from government permissions, allocations of lands and all level of tax benefits even up to 0% tax up to 10 years. It was a situation of compulsion for us to acquire citizenship in that country,” the official said.
It is indeed a fact that Macedonian citizenship is among the least expensive, of the many countries that offer citizenships in exchange of investment. However, the fact that many top Indian industrialists and their key confidants are opting for foreign citizenship is important in the context of the government’s effort to trace black money overseas.
Macedonia, like Montenegro, Buglaria, Romania and several Balkan countries, are trying to attract investment by offering citizenships. According to media reports, Macedonia’s government offers citizenship to anyone who invests at least 400,000 Euros and employs at least 10 people. “This offer stands for all investors except those in the hospitality and trade sectors,” a news report said quoting government spokesperson, Aleksandar Gjorgjiev.
In addition, foreigners who buy real estate worth over 40,000 Euros are given the right to stay in Macedonia for a year. Foreign nationals are currently allowed a maximum of three months stay before having to check out.
Macedonia was part of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. It became a member of the United Nations (UN) in 1993, but as a result of a dispute with Greece over its name, it was admitted under the provisional reference of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.