Latest Headlines

Possible asset freeze in Aristo case

Police studying the bank accounts of the suspects in the Aristo Developers fraud case may recommend that the financial crimes unit MOKAS requests a court order freezing their assets.

asset freezeAUTHORITIES are considering asking for a court order for an asset freeze for all the suspects in an ongoing investigation into zoning violations in Paphos implicating Aristo Developers and municipal employees.

Police are currently poring over the suspects’ bank accounts, and should they consider it necessary will recommend that the financial crimes unit MOKAS request a court order freezing the suspects’ assets.

Five suspects – including prominent land developer Theodoros Aristodemou – are currently in police custody in a case involving the demarcation of 177 land plots in Skali, Paphos, in 2010.

It emerged that the plans for which the demarcation permits were issued were switched with new plans, which seemed to cede approximately 3,000 square metres, worth hundreds of thousands of euro, previously designated as green space, back to Aristo Developers.

Police are meantime building their case, taking depositions from dozens of people.

In a related development, authorities are trying to track down the person or persons who sent threatening text messages to the mobile phones of a Paphos municipal councillor, a deputy municipal engineer, and a Politis reporter who has been covering the Aristo story.

On Tuesday, detectives were set to ask for a court warrant lifting telecoms privacy to get to the caller or callers.

The messages were received late on Sunday evening and they aimed to intimidate the recipients. They were apparently sent using a prepaid card.

It’s also understood that police are taking security measures for the recipients of the text messages.

Aristodemou and his company have denied any wrongdoing, with supporters claiming the whole case is a stitch-up.

Politis reports that on Monday friends and relatives gathered in a chapel to pray for the suspects’ prompt release. The chapel is located within the area earmarked for the Skali development.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • John king says:

    It is a big game of chess playing with peoples lives

  • Steve says:

    Aristo have been pretty good about getting title deeds for purchasers of their property. they used to have signs all over Cyprus saying “Title Deeds Guaranteed.” These vanished some years ago, but there were plenty of brochures in Aristo offices that contained similar statements.

    in the past, Aristo Developers and its directors were among the untouchables, so it could well be that there are other instances of dubious alterations that will be brought to light, now that Aristo have, it seems, become fair game. The risk I foresee is that due to investigation of the legality of all the plans, there will be two consequences. First, those waiting for title deeds will not get them if the plans have been altered illegally in any way, from building permits onward through the whole building and title deeds processes. Second, those who have title deeds to properties that were subject to illegal alterations could be faced with the costs of putting the matter right.

  • Mike says:

    I would imagine most if not all liquid assets are safely tucked away overseas. Tangible assets will probably be protected via third party ownership or held in trust so what remains will be liabilities and some insignificant assets of irrelevance amounting to not very much at all and possibly in fact long and short term liability. It is disappointing that the media is effectively providing warnings to any alleged guilty parties to ensure they ring fence their assets in order to preclude them from being seized. I wonder how many new company registrations have been effected in places such as Bahrain, Luxembourg, Singapore, Jersey, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong etc. in the last few months.

    A clean up and total sweep of all such legal but immoral activity is necessary for the country to achieve transparency and accountability in order to return to the realms of credibility. I will not hold my breath however.

    In saying that I note in UK for example tax avoidance is currently estimated at £82 billion and projected to rise to £100 billion by 2017/18. So it is a world wide problem driven by greed and profit. In itself not too much of a problem until it effects others which of course it does, in fact it negatively impacts on tens if not hundreds of millions. Also worth noting is that Germany and USA are amongst the top tax havens for global money. Make of that what you will.

  • UBoat says:

    “it emerged that the plans for which the demarcation permits were issued were switched with new plans, which seemed to cede approximately 3,000 square metres, worth hundreds of thousands of euro, previously designated as green space, back to Aristo Developers”.

    Plans switched to be able to use designated green areas ???
    Sounds familiar! _______ Developers

    I recon a lot of Developers could fall into this Bracket Mine included …. I never could understand HOW they could transfer green area quota’s from one site to another legally …. It would seem that it could have all been one big scam…..

    Its all coming out now bit by bit !

  • MartynG says:

    It looks, thankfully, as if the Policce, Authorities are taking matters Aristo and Planning very seriously. Hoorah! The anonymous threatening phone calls, the sickening, self aggrandising Aristo ads in the newspapers, the Prayer session, held in a chapel on the very site at the focal point of investigations – all point maybe, towards serious malpractices by the Aristo companies, it’s directors and various ‘associates’. Hopefully the ‘Powers that Be’ have the appetite and resources to use the Aristo case as a signal, a very delayed signal, that ‘something is rotten in the state of Cyprus’ – (with apologies to the Bard) and needs, once and for all to be addressed………

    And yes, they need to adopt a ‘no stone unturned’ approach in this case, and potentially others, as there are, likely 100s, very possibly 1,000s of buyers of Aristo and other ‘new build’ properties who are without Title Deeds. We can only hope that investigations go as deep as taking serious looks at other developers and various lawyers, agents, public servants who may all, it seems, have had roles to play in these deep-seated problems. Certain Cyprus banks are probably looking on carefully, as the review their NPLs, too.

    And, what a weird – but very welcome – coincidence that today, 2nd October, sees the opening of the Cyprus Anti-Corruption hotline, yes, it’s not the 1st April, thanks Cyprus Property Buyers network for yesterday’s ‘heads up’, this is really happening. Lines open this very day from 1000-1800 : call 70070011 – but if you can’t call today, they are open again on Tuesdays, as well as Thursdays. Let’s hope they can cope with the initial rush of complaints. “we are declaring a Revolution” says Transparency International’s centre Executive Director, Nicolaos Nikolaides. He may well find soon that his organisation need to man the office, and it’s telephone lines 5, or more?, days a week!

  • John Pyrokkas says:

    The Authorities MUST place under arrest all who were in key positions both in Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank and The Central Bank. All who took the funds of the public via preferential loans and so called bonuses. All who either directly or by aiding and abating the scam caused this misery. Freeze their assets worldwide.

    And those who believe in a Higher Being ought to go to chapels and Pray for the miserable people also, not just the release of those who are supposed to pay for their part in the misery.

  • Viennese says:

    and … the suspect sender/s of threatening text messages is most probably seen among the prayers in the chapel
    ( thats what usually happens in murder cases at funerals in crime stories )

  • The DJ says:

    They should also surrender their passports if given bail because he will just open the safe and leave Europe

  • Pippa says:

    “Politis reports that on Monday friends and relatives gathered in a chapel to pray for the suspects’ prompt release.”

    Perhaps a few prayers could be spared for the buyers duped by the devious developers/lawyers/government officials!!

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

  • Text size

SELECTED REPORTS

Back to top