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06 July, 2022
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Drug case up in the air after informant dies in cell

Limassol prosecutors unsure about cannabis hidden in pet food case following death of lifer suspect


A man who was detained after reportedly coming clean with police over a cannabis shipment hidden in pet food was found dead in his cell last week, with reports suggesting disagreement within law enforcement over handling the case could also signal a dead end.

Local media said a 61-year-old male, who was detained last month after drug squad officers in Limassol seized cannabis hidden in pet food, was found dead Thursday in his jail cell at the town’s police station.

The body of the man, who was identified as the informant in the case, was found by police officers Thursday morning at 10:15am. State forensic pathologist Angeliki Papetta, who carried out an autopsy, ruled out foul play in the cause of death but police told Knews the manner of death was still unclear.

Local media sources said the detained man had been sentenced to life in prison for murder back in 2006 but he was paroled in 2019.

Police in early March said a male suspect in his late 30’s was detained after 132 kilos of cannabis were found inside a container at Limassol’s New Port.

The prison parole council reportedly said they were unaware that the man had been involved in a criminal case but learned of his arrest and subsequent death through the media

Local media said the arrest warrant had been issued based on information provided by an informant. It later emerged that the 61-year-old man was identified as the person who alerted the police.

While the younger suspect was released without charges, the informant remained behind bars on an arrest warrant after police said the 61-year-old incriminated himself and admitted to being the recipient of the drug shipment.

According to Reporter, the drug squad was looking into the possibility of having the released inmate testify for the prosecution, while state prosecutors did not favor this course of action.

Drug squad commander Michalis Katsounotos last month said the operation was “a major blow to drug traffickers.”

The commander, who served as police spokesperson before taking the helm at the drug squad, also said “we will leave nothing to chance.”

CID Limassol director Lefteris Kyriacou said a number of agencies were involved in the investigation, adding the Police Chief has requested a full account of events “so that everything is probed including the exact causes of death and other aspects in the case.”

Local media said the 61-year-old informant was also the recipient of the pet food shipment but he got scared that police might get wind of the operation.

In a recent twist, the prison parole council reportedly said they were unaware that the 61-year-old had been involved in a criminal case but learned of his arrest and subsequent death through the media.

Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  cannabis  |  prison death  |  drugs  |  informant  |  lifer  |  parole  |  drug squad  |  pet food  |  marijuana

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