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.