It's becoming clear why Presidential Candidate Trump and Russian President Putin have been so chummy with each other. Trump has become dependent on Russian oligarchs to fund his real estate ventures since U.S. banks no longer will because of his various bankruptcies and history of failure to pay his debts.
Such economic citizenship programmes, which are being run by several small island states in the region, have raised concerns that terrorists, criminals and other shady characters could buy Caribbean passports to evade justice, slip into Europe and North America through the back door, or squirrel away billions in stolen public money in tropical tax paradises.
Once again Eastern Europe is the location of a geo-political struggle that could define Europe's security for a generation. Moldova, a small country with a long history of foreign meddling, is at the epicenter of Eastern Europe. It is time for policymakers in the West start giving this tiny country more attention.
I have read the recent articles about the Panama Papers with great interest, because the way these shell companies are used has a direct impact on local real estate markets. Although many of these offshore vehicles have a legitimate purpose, a significant number are set up to wash ill-gotten gains from their owners.