Cyprus police are keeping details of an arrest in Engomi under wraps, but local media are speculating a foreign man is suspected to be a contract killer sent to the island to assassinate a businessman in Nicosia.
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Police said a 38-year-old male suspect was detained on Monday in Engomi, a borough in western Nicosia. Officials gave no specific details but additional reports said the operation took place following a stakeout by undercover cops at the Ledras and Agios Dhometios checkpoints.
Undercover cops put a tail on the suspect upon his return to the south, with members of an antiterrorism unit apprehending him in an open field in Engomi after he walked up to a parked rental car
Local media said the suspect, described as an Azeri man with a Russian passport, came to Cyprus recently and also crossed into the north on Sunday.
Undercover police reportedly put a tail on the suspect upon his return to the south, with members of an antiterrorism unit rushing to apprehend him in an empty lot in Engomi after he walked up to a parked rental car.
An official report said the suspect during the arrest had in his possession a handgun with a silencer, as well as other pieces of evidence which would undergo forensic tests.
Police did not list any charges for the arrest but told Knews that the suspect would appear before a judge after 12 noon Tuesday for a remand hearing, adding that investigators were looking into his “possible involvement in a criminal act.”
The hearing is scheduled to take place behind closed doors, reports said, after a Nicosia judge accepted a special request by prosecutors.
Local media said a foreign businessman in Nicosia could likely have been the targeted of the alleged assassination plan, while police were reportedly seeking assistance from foreign intelligence about the suspect in order to crack the case wide open.
Police were reportedly also considering the possibility that there were other targets on a single hit list, while no other suspects or persons of interest were known to have been identified in the case.
The alleged target is said to be living and working on the island, with local reports saying his business dealings extend beyond Cyprus.