Case Closed in Residence Permits Scandal ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

The Internal Security Agency has closed its investigation of 136 people in the residence permit scandal, having found no criminal wrongdoing.

Journalists revealed in 2011 that an Estonian MP and a Tallinn city councilor had been facilitating Estonian residence permits to rich foreigners on the basis of business, but 55 of the companies were registered at a single address and were inactive.

It was initially presumed that the foreigners were seeking access to the EU, but the final conclusion of the Police and Border Guard Board was that they wanted access to digital services connected to their Estonian bank accounts.

The case was reopened a year ago at the request of a special parliamentary committee, after it was initially determined that no criminal violations had taken place. None were found this time around either, despite suspicions that the residence permit applicants had supplied false information to authorities.

Twenty-one of the 136 permit holders have lost their temporary residence permits because their businesses did not begin operation by a required deadline.