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The British Mafia in Cyprus – True or False?

By Antonis Loizou, FRICS Antonis Loizou & Associates Ltd Chartered Surveyors Property Valuers – Project Managers May 2007 We submit this article in the press in order for our readers to share our concerns on a new upcoming situation of a “modern” society. It seems that the British market with its numerous good/positive factors, both […]

By Antonis Loizou, FRICS
Antonis Loizou & Associates Ltd
Chartered Surveyors
Property ValuersProject Managers

May 2007

We submit this article in the press in order for our readers to share our concerns on a new upcoming situation of a “modern” society. It seems that the British market with its numerous good/positive factors, both for the Cyprus building industry and the economy, has brought to this country and its own “mafia” way of doing business. We have reported in a past article about the illegal estate agents-cowboys and we stressed that British estate agents are liable in Britain only for fraud and other illegal acts, as long as they do it within the U.K. (if abroad no liability) It reminds us of the James Bond License to Kill, but, abroad!! Because the legal system being what it is here, with the long delays between the time of crime and the date of the punishment, these illegal estate agents/advertisers/auctioneers/ tour guides/property consultants etc (the most popular undercover names of illegal estate agents – mainly British) have excelled themselves in becoming aggressive and provocative. In one instance, one of these cowboys has “stolen” our firm’s name (Antonis Loizou) and is using it in the internet as a lure in order to attract unsuspecting clients, who think that they are dealing with this firm (we have reported him to the Ministry of Commerce for misleading advertisement). Not only he has registered our name as his own in the search engines, but in a letter to us, he offered us to buy our own name back!! – I am told by the Police that he is now under investigation.

We must tell you about another own experience, which is so shocking that we wish to share it with you. There is an illegal estate agent who is carrying out estate agency work in the island, under one of the cover up names (advertiser/ auctioneer etc). We, as an Office, in association with one of the U.K.’s most reputable auctioneers have decided to carry out property auctions in Cyprus. Now this cowboy fears that we may damage his work.

This illegal agent has threatened our staff, has even attempted to enter into our own office (recorded as such in our security cameras) during the evening and he is spreading all sorts of threats towards our Firm. Can this be real? We do not believe it. Competition is healthy with the benefit to the end user, but is this the approach? So far we are aware of protection money and Al Capone style of business regarding drags and prostitution, but to do this in ordinary business, it is beyond us!!
The basic problem lies in the weakness of the Police to prosecute these criminals “illegal estate agents” speedily, but to bodily threaten the competition is a new approach. Of course we have reported the events to the police and we hope that we will have some sort of action, not only for our own benefit, for the benefit of the Police, who has an opportunity to show results, but also for the benefit of any law abiding citizen who wishes to carry out business here. We will not rest until such activities are stopped and for this reason we have informed the Minister of the Police (Justice), in order to make sure that our report goes to the top. We are sure that these illegal agents, who are criminals (under the Estate Agents law), will find their way towards the Cyprus jail soon.

Illegal estate agents are active in Cyprus and for every one legal, there are 3 illegal, especially in Paphos. How people can operate in this country so provocatively, placing adds, having high street shops etc, is beyond us. The situation is quite worrying especially in the Paphos area, where the illegality is showing in its full glory. Although we are quite busy in our own business and we do not have time to carry out a crusade on the subject, the last events have awakened us. We hope that having shared our experience with you, our readers, we will encourage other descent business people to come forward and we promise that we will use our contacts, to work towards elimination of this state of affairs and to help towards the carrying out of business by all those who abide by the law. How these criminal “firms” (advertisers/auctioneers etc) be trusted in their business dealings using these methods is for everybody to judge.

We welcome a libel suit from those who feel that we have offended them unjustly so that their name can be published. In this instance we will report the criminals’ name and the firms’ involved immediately, so that the unaware public comes to know for its own protection.

cc Minister of Police
Area Police Chief – Paphos
Chairman – The House of Parliament

www.aloizou.com.cy
www.aloizou.ro

ala-HQ@aloizou.com.cy

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