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Cyprus protesters march through Paphos

Earlier today members of the Leptos Buyers’ Action Group and their supporters staged a peaceful protest by marching along the Paphos seafront to the port demanding their Title Deeds.

Leptos Buyers Action Group protesters demonstrating in Paphos

Leptos Property Action Group protesters marching through Paphos

EARLIER today a group of around a hundred members of the Leptos Buyers Action Group (LBAG) and their supporters held a peaceful demonstration and march along a busy Paphos seafront demanding their Title Deeds.

Most of the protesters I spoke to said that they had been waiting for their Title Deeds for many years. Many said they were outraged by the closure of the Cyprus Property Action Group website following a writ against Denis O’Hare, the website’s owner.

Some told me that the Land Registry had carried out Title searches on their behalf. These show that the land on which their properties is built had been mortgaged to the bank by the developer prior to them buying – and in some cases those mortgages amounted to many millions of Euros.

Many of the demonstrators felt intimidated and refused to give me their names out of fear of reprisals being taken against them. But Tricia Sabey, a LBAG co-ordinator, who has her Title Deeds told me she had nothing to lose by speaking up.

I asked Mrs Sabey what the protest was trying to achieve. “We wanted to let people know that there are €5 billion of toxic debt owed by the developers to the Cyprus banks. We believe that the Cyprus property market is heading for a crash; just like the US sub-prime market”.

Mrs Sabey told me: “I thought the protest went very well. We achieved our aims and it was a peaceful demonstration. We wanted to reach the wider public in Cyprus, not just British expats. We wanted to reach the Cypriot market, the German market and the Russian market – and we got our message across to a wide spectrum of people here in Paphos today.

Readers' comments

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  • douglas says:

    The protest was commendable and carried out on behalf of all residents of Cyprus who are suffering difficulties and frustration of not having title deeds for a property that that they have fully paid for,most people caught in this trap are retired senior citizens, what a way to treat elderly retired people.

    The recent article involving ****** shows that they are concerned enough to want to prevent it. I would fight the Court Order on the basis that if a correct and verifiable statement has been made – it cannot be libellous, having said that I do not blame Dennis O’HARE for not taking that risky route.

    Due to the recent outcome of Cyprus Court in support of ****** libel action, I would suggest a far more effective way would be to prevent the sale of property from say within the United Kingdom.

    ****** and other Developers are keen supporters of the Property Exhibitions that travel around the UK. All the CPAG supporters have to do is have a representative at each show – ask the relevant questions about title deeds – obviously get the stock answer that there was no problem and then request Trading Standards in the area concerned,to take proceedings for the mis-statements. Hence very quickly no agent in the UK would then touch Cypriot Properties for fear of proceedings against them.

    I suggest that using legal authorities such as Trading Standards in the UK would be more effective and achieve negative media coverage,perhaps ****** will take the opportunity to challenge the UK Trading Standards or do they just pick on soft targets?

    Lets hope our endeavours will eventually bring about change and justice for all Cyprus residents who have bought property.

  • hector says:

    It’s a modern tragedy that the Cyprus establishment needs to be embarrassed into taking action to stop the legal injustices in Cyprus rather than simply admitting the issues and taking action. The state of the Greek economy must be a huge wake up call to Cyprus that they ignore peoples human rights at their financial peril.

    How the authorities have let this terrible situation continue for so long and trying to suppress those affected is disgraceful.

  • graham cockroft says:

    The developers must have been working closely with the lawyers and the banks. The lawyers were aware the developers were issuing their own mortgages to buyers who then mortgaged entire sites to the bank whilst unsuspecting home owners thought the developers still owned the land.

    The developers cannot give mortgages back now as they don`t have them, the bank do. This to me is blatant fraud on the part of the developers, deception on the part of the lawyers and the banks went along with both make them a part of this as well.

    Over the years the banks have held the mortgages and lent monies to these companies who in fact were collecting two streams of cash on each home, one payment from the owner and one from the bank.

    The developers now need to buy those mortgages back from the bank which I doubt they can afford to do as the debt far outweighs the value of the companies concerned.

    Next step is to demand the mortgage back within 21 days, if that doesn`t work, take a class action against the developer concerned in the Court of Human Rights in Brussels after exhausting all possible legal local Channels in Cyprus……advising the police of the crime along the way.

  • Pete says:

    Well done Nigel for keeping everyone up to date with what’s happening.

    Since the successful interference by a developer, CPAG can no longer fight on our behalf, but the fight for freedom of speech and justice will go on.

    It’s only by highlighting these scurrilous dealings by developers, lawyers, banks and the various government departments and public figures that corruption and nepotism can be eradicated or at least minimised. Currently it’s out of control and rife certainly in the Paphos region if not the whole island.

    Hopefully by bringing these practices to the public domain we can alert people to the many pitfalls of investing in anything in Cyprus. Not till they clean up their act. And that won’t happen while developers can stifle freedom of speech and threaten fellow EU citizens.

  • william wright says:

    It’s about time developers realised that they can’t treat buyers with contempt all the time .

  • alex g grant says:

    Nigel and everyone,
    what a great way to show those ****** people that they have made a terrible mistake. I am not in Cyprus at the moment, but well done.

    I do know the message is being seen by all prospective buyers, and they will not be buying in Cyprus. All those developers are getting a terrible reputation, and giving the country of Cyprus a very bad name.

    They are now in trouble, along with their lawyers, of selling under false pretences, and will be facing the courts shortly. The whole lot is about to blow up in their faces, and about time.

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