According to a January 13 press release, Arton Capital is moving forward with a defamation claim against the Investment Migration Council (IMC) through a Dubai court. Arton claims that a scathing report published by IMC and Transparency International (Hungary) back in December 2016 has no merit.
IMC is a non-profit investment migration association that promotes transparency and best practices throughout the industry. Arton Capital is a global financial advisory firm and a top-tier leader in the citizenship and residency by investment market.
The report, titled In Whose Interest? Shadows Over The Hungarian Residency Bond Program, essentially alleges that Hungary’s Residency Bond Programme offered no economic benefit but was instead developed solely to enrich political influencers and the companies they cooperated with. One of the companies mentioned was Arton Capital.
From the IMC report:
“The real beneficiaries of the Residency bond programme are those – dominantly offshore – companies which enjoy monopolies over their respective geographical areas to act as mediators between the investors and the Government Debt Management Agency, i.e. Arton Capital, Hungary State Special Debt Fund, Innozone Holdings, Migrat Immigration Asia and VolDan Investments.”
The fallout of the report has been immense and Hungary has since suspended its residency program. Arton Capital made its views clear on the report in a press release on its website:
“The report is in Arton Capital’s view defamatory, contains false information, and has caused serious reputational damage to Arton Capital’s business. Arton Capital contends that the spread of this false information forms part of a broader smear campaign, which it believes is intended to damage its reputation within the industry.”
Despite repeated cease and desist actions from Arton’s lawyers, IMC has continued to promote the report. As the case moves through its early stages in Dubai, IMC has not responded to correspondence from the court.
As of January 14, the Dubai court was considering sending experts to IMC’s headquarters in Geneva for more information, after which a hearing would be held on February 16.