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The fate of Greek Cypriot Solon Apostolides is still unkown, despite reports earlier that his body had been found in Kyrenia.
Apostolides, aged 65, was last seen at a Turkish Cypriot casino last week and had been reported missing by his two children, who contacted police on both sides, after realising their phone calls to their father were not going through.
Morning reports from media in the north that Apostolides was dead remained unconfirmed as of Thursday afternoon
Morning reports from media in the north that Apostolides was dead remained unconfirmed as of Thursday afternoon.
The search was becoming convoluted with more baffling clues, including the discovery of a blood-stained shirt which later turned out not to belong to Apostolides. The division on the island between the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot regime in the north, recognised only by Turkey, further appeared to complicate the matter and how media reported on the case.
But Hakki Onen, the Turkish Cypriot head of the bi-communal committee on crime, told media the reports of Apostolides' death reports were unsubstantiated.
On Thursday, Turkish special forces joined the search in the northern town of Kyrenia around 10am with police also focusing on 22-year-old Turkish national Erdinc Senturk, who was seen exiting a casino with Apostolides.
The vehicle of the 65-year-old was found abandoned near a Turkish military area and it was later reported that Senturk flew back to Turkey.
He was later apprehended and brought back to the island, according to media reports. It was not immediately clear whether any charges have been filed, but it has been confirmed that the two men knew each other and were seen leaving a casino together.
Other reports also said Apostolides’ car key had been found inside the vehicle along with a bottle of whiskey but reports in the south spoke of a man who did not drink alcohol except beer occasionally.
Information is still forthcoming but foul play has not been ruled out at this stage.
Onen told media on Thursday that a search for Apostolides was still ongoing.