Two Cypriots, mother and son, are involved in a case of international illegal drug trafficking, with UK authorities saying the woman in London was making trips to collect money on her son’s behalf.
A London woman, 67-year-old Eleni Katsigianni, is accused of being a go-between in an illegal drug enterprise, involving a network of dealing Class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin between Devon, London, and Cyprus.
A man from Plymouth, 27-year-old Martin Payne, is also facing charges in connection with being a member of the gang, while Kastigianni’s son, 28-year-old Cyprus resident George Pikounis, is thought to have been the ring leader.
"The mother was either the most unlucky, gullible, naive and blind person in London, or she is guilty"
Prosecutors say Katsigianni would make frequent trips over a one year period, sometimes weekly, in order to collect payments, from which approximately €96,000 ended up being deposited in local banks and later wired to Cyprus.
Both Payne and Katsigianni were part of a gang transporting cocaine and heroin from London to Plymouth between 2016 and 2017, according to prosecutors who appeared in Exeter Crown Court.
But investigators were stunned to learn Katsigianni’s defence, as the doting mother basically said she was unaware that her son was involved with drugs.
Katsigianni said her son was running a clothing store but was having financial difficulties, adding that she believed all along that she was collecting debts incurred by the business.
But Pikounis admitted his role in the crimes, leaving investigators wrap up by saying the mother was the “most unlucky, gullible, naive and blind person in London.”
“Or she is guilty,” they added, according to local media in Devon.