Kozeny says he needed Irish passports for business

Ah the passports for sale scheme. What memories. It has reared its ugly head again it seems :

It emerged this week that Mr Kozeny has been issued six Irish passports and at least two others from the Czech Republic and Venezuela.

He disclosed five of the Irish passports to a Bahamas court last Thursday. However, his lawyer has since said that Mr Kozeny’s mother found a sixth Irish passport at Mr Kozeny’s Bahamas home, as well as a Czech passport issued in 1994.

Mr Kozeny (42) was indicted in New York this month for allegedly masterminding a multi-million-dollar scheme to bribe officials in Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil company during a fraudulent privatisation scheme in which US investors lost over $100 million (€83.6 million).

He was previously indicted in New York for organising the allegedly fraudulent privatisation and is also wanted in his native Czech Republic for allegedly organising another fraudulent privatisation in which 80,000 small investors collectively lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mr Kozeny was granted Irish citizenship in 1995 after investing over €1 million in an Irish medical software company.

The Government is to introduce legislation to ensure that the passports-for-investment scheme is never re-introduced.

Surely there are legitimate reasons for having so many passports, aren’t there?