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More arrests in property scam

Communist party AKEL has become embroiled in a property scam following the arrest of two members of its politburo alleged to have been involved the sale of Turkish Cypriot owned land.

POLICE have arrested two AKEL party officials and a businessman in connection with the real estate scam involving the staff pension fund of the Cyprus Telecommunications Agency (Cyta).

Venizelos Zanetos and Christos Alekou, both members of the politburo of AKEL have been arrested, along with businessman Antonis Ioakeim.

Ioakeim is a 25% partner in Wadnic Trading Ltd., a property company owned by Nikos Lillis, chairman of the pro-Akel football club Alki, which sold the land for more than €20 million after buying it from its Turkish Cypriot owner for only a few hundred thousand euros.

Investigators said that €254,000 was deposited in the bank account of the Larnaca AKEL branch by the company involved in the scam.

The director of the company, Nikos Lillis, has been in custody for some time on suspicion that he had bribed two police officers, Costas Miamiliotis and Lefteris Mouskou (who are also being held in custody) to falsely assert that the original owner of the land, a Turkish Cypriot, had been living in the government controlled areas of Cyprus.

Sources said that Lillis, who turned whistle-blower after others tried to blame him for the whole deal,  may be called to testify as a witness for the prosecution at the trial of those held on suspicion of improper action in connection with the land purchase, including CyTA president Stathis Kittis.

Communist party AKEL, whose administration brought the Cyprus economy to its knees, denies any official involvement in the deal.

Readers' comments

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  • Johnny Cyprus says:

    I have read elsewhere that that, in 2011, CYTA’s employees’ pension fund paid over 20 million Euros for this property of some 30,000 sqm.

    It was reported that it had been acquired by the the vendors, Messrs Wadnic Trading Ltd., from the ‘Turkish’ owner, for less than 2 million Euros, at the market peak in 2008.

    On the face of it, this looks like misappropriation of the pensioners’ fund.

    One can only hope that the full truth is revealed and that justice is done.

  • Basura says:

    Don’t wait for Christmas Pantomimes, come to Cyprus and be able to see them every month of the year. What a joke this corrupt country is! Even the mainland Greeks in Greece, America, Australia etc, when you meet them around the world, think they are a 3rd world joke, and that is saying something based on their background.

    Don’t leave it too late in sending your Christmas post back to Blighty, send your shirt now before they even rob you of that.

  • steve says:

    Maybe we would see a few more whistle-blowers in the domestic property scams if the police started arresting developers and solicitors plus some estate agents. It would really start to bring the scum out from under their stones.

  • Curmudgen says:

    If proven, make sure the ill begotten gains are confiscated and put to good use. Certainly don’t assist the bailout of any bank!

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