The demonstration will take place during President Christofias’ visit to Peyia on 4th June and will be held at the new municipal car park, starting at 20:00.
The CPAG press release follows:
At our recent Title Deeds Seminar there was overwhelming support for more direct action due to the failure of the Government to respond to our calls for them to address the many pitfalls of buying property in Cyprus.
This is to let you know that CPAG are taking the opportunity to peacefully demonstrate against the Cyprus Government and especially the President when he comes to Peyia next week. The President is officially opening the new Municipal Park on the Ayios Georgios Road (main road Paphos to Akamas – near to the Eko Kallikas filling station) at 20:00hrs on the 4th of June.
Immovable Property Tax Fraud
As most of you may recall we have been trying to get action on the Immovable Property Tax (IPT) mass organised crime for some while. This included attempting to get the police to uphold the law as this is basically obtaining money under false pretences (Criminal Code 298 – penalty 5 years imprisonment) by most developers. We estimate that millions of Euros have been stolen by the developers over the years in this fraud.
We have taken victims of the fraud to the police and reported the crime yet the Chief of Police has said that this is not a police matter. The Chief of Police has declined to address the clear points of our arguments in communications to him, basically that the developer knows exactly what he has paid for each site each year and can apportion the repayment by clients accordingly yet knowingly charges much more than this whilst falsely assuring the buyer that this is what he paid on their behalf. This exactly fits the description of Criminal Code 298 in our view, yet the Chief of Police offers no counter argument or indeed any argument at all, to support the assertion that this is not a police matter.
Request for Presidential Review
As a result, on February 9th this year we wrote to the President requesting him to initiate a Presidential Review into this mass fraud because of the police refusing to investigate this crime. Yet despite the Constitution requiring him to respond within 30 days we have heard nothing so far. Accordingly, we are now of the mind that even the President is covering up for these dishonest developers and this could therefore now be viewed as a State-sponsored crime which uses a legitimate tax collecting mechanism to perpetrate the crime.
More Hard Evidence!
Also with buyers now applying for refunds of the legitimate amounts paid on their behalf, the Inland Revenue can now see the scope of the fraud in that they have hard evidence i.e. the receipts for the payments to the developers and the considerably smaller amounts that the developers themselves paid to the IR which are then refunded with an IR slip to the defrauded buyers as proof of the legitimate payment. It should be noted that Cyprus reported to the Anti Corruption arm of the EU in its Evaluation that “By virtue of Section 369 of the Criminal Code, all citizens in Cyprus, including public officials, are obliged to report information on (possible) criminal offences to the police”.
As a recent example of this fraud and the knowledge which the Inland Revenue have at hand, one couple were forced to pay the developer €4,417 and only received €771 in a refund, this being the legitimate amount the developer actually paid and therefore have been defrauded out of €3,646 by the developer (and the lawyers involved).
Another gentleman is being asked for €17,000 in IPT before the developer releases the Deeds, whereas when he checks with the Inland Revenue they say he should only pay €1,900. This buyer cannot afford to pay the amount being extorted and has therefore now also lost the right to Specific Performance which expires after 6 months of being notified that the Deeds are ready for transfer.
This is the President who is currently pontificating on the international stage about property rights, respect for law and order and European values – we think he should practise in the Republic what he preaches otherwise he is just as guilty as the developers and the lawyers who cover up for them. This is pure fraud and in any civilised law-abiding country these developers would be dealt with by the Authorities.
We apologise for the short notice of this demonstration but hope you will join us on Thursday 4th of June to express your indignation direct to the President – please tell all your friends and let’s show the Government that we are simply not going to back down on this fraud. We will have placards available but you are also quite welcome to bring your own.
Please try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the appointed time as we assume that the parking will be chaotic and also please consider car pooling wherever possible.
Posted on behalf and in support of the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG)