Convicted Sydney multi-millionaire allegedly granted Vanuatu citizenship 

Andrew Spira. Photo: NT News

Andrew Spira, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed multi-millionaire from Sydney, Australia, who has criminal plans, including forming an armed militia in Vanuatu and East Timor, has allegedly been granted Vanuatu citizenship. 

The Vanuatu Daily Post first received this information in May 2024 and has been following up with the responsible authorities. This comes five months after ABC News reported that he planned to flee Australia, become a drug dealer in South-East Asia, hijack a yacht, and fund an armed militia, following his guilty plea to a string of fraud and drug charges in the Darwin Local Court. 

In Australia, Spira faces multiple criminal charges and convictions, including financial fraud, drug possession and distribution, possession of false documents (using a fake passport), firearm offences, and domestic violence. 

Documents seized by Australian police in Darwin, as reported by several media outlets including NT News, detailed Spira’s plans to establish a drug business, hijack a yacht, and form an armed militia in Vanuatu and East Timor. 

Despite his extensive criminal record and attempts to evade justice, it has been reported that Vanuatu granted him citizenship and bank loans to establish himself in the country. 

The case has been reported to the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), who are aware of the situation. The Citizenship Office has been contacted to clarify and confirm if an individual named Andrew Spira has obtained citizenship and a passport. Despite three attempts to get a statement, the office has not responded. 

But sources within the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Vanuatu confirmed to the Vanuatu Daily Post that Spira fled from Australia and came to Vanuatu. He then flew out from Vanuatu again. 

The sources reported that Spira holds dual citizenship, indicating that he is both an Australian citizen and a citizen of Vanuatu. 

The sources within the Ministry said Spira flew out of Vanuatu on Friday, 07 June 2024. 

He has obtained a Vanuatu passport, taking advantage of the visa-free access to 112 countries that the Vanuatu passport provides. 

Spira’s story reads like a comic book plot—a bizarre plan to “make money,” “hijack a yacht,” and “form an armed militia” after escaping Australia—except it has now become a reality. 

This issue is not the first of its kind; many criminals have been using Vanuatu’s citizenship and passport program to escape their countries due to their criminal backgrounds by spending huge amounts of money through almost 20 approved agents for the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Programme.

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