LONDON - The British government said on Thursday that a small number of people who had obtained so-called "golden visas" for rich investors might have obtained their wealth through corruption or other illicit financial activity.

The government scrapped the visas last year, which had offered a route to residency for those investing at least 2 million pounds ($2.43 million), in the days before the invasion of Ukraine amid concerns about the inflow of illicit Russian money.

A review was first commissioned by the government in 2018 after the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain, and details of that investigation were only released to parliament on Thursday.

"The review of cases identified a small minority of individuals connected to the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route that were potentially at high risk of having obtained wealth through corruption or other illicit financial activity, and/or being engaged in serious and organised crime," the Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in a written statement.

($1 = 0.8226 pounds)

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden)