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02 April, 2020
 
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Bodyguards deported on public safety grounds

Police and usual suspects butt heads as criminal underworld crackdown rages on

Newsroom

Cyprus Immigration deported four security guards following an executive decision by Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, while the usual suspects are facing repeated searches and charges ranging from illegal possession to unlawful security cameras.

The four security guards were all foreign nationals and were providing security to people who were known to police.

But the security guards were also working as bodyguards according to daily Phileleftheros, while their licence terms were restricted to guarding buildings and structures but not individuals.

'Gentlemen I apologise for having illegal cameras at my house. But when... you were asking me to take measures, I guess you were referring to condoms and suntan lotion'

One bodyguard left Cyprus voluntarily while the other three were deported on grounds that they posed a threat to public safety.

Police, who have recently embarked on an unprecedented sweep operation against the criminal underworld, have also targeted security cameras of known criminals and people associated with the criminal underworld.

Recent arrests were conducted in connection with unlawful camera installations, according to police, including one raid in Limassol that resulted in the arrest of criminal underboss Tasos Simillidis three weeks ago.

Simillidis reportedly had €35,000 cash in his home but couldn't explain to cops whether he earned that money legally.

The suspect is believed to have been implicated in a previous murder attempt against Alexis ‘Alexoui’ Mavromichalis in 2015.

Alexoui takes on the police online

Alexoui, who publicly criticised police for forcing him to take down his private security cameras, was also detained recently.

Comments he made previously on Facebook got him into trouble but no charges were filed and he was subsequently released.

But elsewhere on Facebook, Alexoui reintroduced the camera issue.

“Gentlemen I apologise for having illegal cameras at my house. But when you were telling me all the time that I was in danger and you were asking me to take measures, I guess you were probably referring to condoms and suntan lotion,” he wrote.

Sifis in custody until July trial

A friend of Alexoui, Josef ‘Sifis’ Josef was also arrested recently and is currently in custody awaiting trial set for July 5.

According to police, Sifis is accused of illegal possession of four detonators that were found in his apartment.

The defence lawyer objected to his client’s remand until trial date, citing that other people also had keys to the apartment.

The state prosecutor said Sifis ought to remain in custody without bail citing two reasons, the possibility he might not show up to court and another pending case where he is accused of having brass knuckles in his possession.

The defence lawyer objected to the arguments, accusing the state prosecutor of postponing the brass knuckles trial seven times and suggesting there could be ulterior motives behind the arrest.

The court ruled in favour of the prosecution and Sifis will remain behind bars until his trial.

Searches with no end in sight

Alexoui’s car, which was parked outside the courtroom, was inspected by police according to daily Philelefteros but the search did not yielded anything. It was not immediately clear whether the search was conducted on an existing warrant or other basis of suspicion.

Police are conducting massive searches lately targeting the criminal underworld, following a police shooting incident that sparked controversy when cops were criticised for not doing enough to combat crime.

Hundreds of places, vehicles, residences and suspects have been searched to date, with several arrests connecting the dots on a number of ongoing cases.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  crime  |  underworld  |  Alexoui  |  Sifis  |  police  |  camera  |  Facebook  |  bodyguard  |  security

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