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18 May, 2024
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Three held in Kouklia site theft

Police avert attempt in illicit trade in stolen antiquities


Police arrested two men Sunday night, aged 34 and 48, in connection with illicit trade in artifacts case from Kouklia, Paphos, where an archeological dig is ongoing and one man had already been in custody.

Earlier on Friday, a 37-year-old man from Yeroskipou was placed under arrest, following a phone call to the police by a concerned citizen who said he saw a car parked in a remote area near what authorities believe to be an ancient tomb. 

It all started when a concerned citizen saw a car parked in a remote area near what authorities believe to be an ancient tomb

The man initially was not forthcoming with police investigators, according to media reports. But later he identified two other suspects that police officers said they were trying to apprehend.

The two men arrested on Sunday are expected to appear in court on Monday where police will ask for them to be remanded in custody to help with their investigation. Both of them have denied any involvement in the case.

Kouklia, a village near Paphos, is the archaeological site of Palaipafos (old Paphos), which was one of the most important city-kingdoms of Cyprus in the ancient world. It is also listed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

Illicit trade in antiquities has been going on for decades in Cyprus, in both northern and southern parts of the island, but authorities were forced to step up their game recently, following public statements by Paphos mayor Fedonas Fedonos, a whistleblower against corruption.

Fedonos shocked the public when he revealed he had information that state and government officials were involved or had privileged knowledge of illegal activities.

Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  Koukila  |  ancient  |  illicit trade  |  antiquities

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