A PAPHOS estate agent is wanted by the police after being accused of stealing an 80,000 deposit from a British couple before disappearing.
Paphos CID believe the 49-year-old man may have already fled the country after closing down his offices and have issued a warrant for his arrest. Interpol has also been notified.
The incident is said to have taken place in October when the couple, who are permanent residents of Dubai, gave him the deposit towards a 120,000 plot of land in Peyia. According to their statements, they were planning on building their dream home in an area that they love and to split their time between Cyprus and Dubai.
Apparently the agent told the couple that he was in possession of all the relevant documentation, but would always find an excuse not to actually show them the paperwork.
The Brits put their faith in the agent, believing his claims that the deal would go through within the space of a week.
The money changed hands on October 9, but ten days later, the couple was unable to contact him, despite numerous attempts.
The police yesterday said that they are doing everything possible to track down the fugitive. A spokeswoman said: “We are liaising with law enforcement in other EU countries as the man is believed to have fled Cyprus to hide out with relatives abroad.”
Denis O’Hare is the co-founder of the Cyprus Property Action Group, an organisation set up to help people who have experienced problems when purchasing or attempting to purchase property.
He told the Mail that “due to a lack of adequate regulations governing agents, developers and lawyers as well as a lack of enforcement of the law, many cases of fraud are being reported to us“.
“We would like the government to help us address these pitfalls as this is in the interests of everybody involved in the property industry, as well as the government itself.”
He added that Cyprus “must be seen as one of the safest places on the island in the Mediterranean in which to buy property“.
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