A marriage of convenience could be behind the disappearance and death of a Romanian man, after it emerged that his alleged killer had married the victim’s girlfriend to get a visa in exchange of money.
According to local media, police investigators are looking into several possible scenarios surrounding the death of 33-year-old Romanian national Popa Andrei, whose body was discovered in Larnaca on Wednesday, one month after his girlfriend had reported him missing.
Investigators were led to the location of the body after a 26-year-old Indian male, who was arrested by Turkish Cypriot police in the north, was handed over to Greek Cypriot authorities Wednesday morning through the UN bicommunal crime committee.
The suspect, who was immediately arrested on murder charges, reportedly admitted to police investigators that he was responsible for Andrei’s death, saying the two men had an argument.
The suspect said he flew into a rage and stopped the car after having an argument with the victim reportedly asking for more money
Back in 2018, according to additional reports, the Indian man married the victim’s girlfriend, described as a Romanian woman, in order to get legal documents.
The suspect reportedly said the victim and his girlfriend left Cyprus after the wedding but kept asking for more money. He also said the couple asked for an additional €2000 before agreeing to return to the island, which was a request by the suspect in order to comply with migration officials who asked the couple to appear together for some paperwork.
After paying the money, the couple flew to Cyprus with the two men driving to an embassy in Nicosia to get some documents. On the way back to Larnaca, the two started arguing after the victim asked for more money, according to the suspect.
The suspect then reportedly flew into a rage and stopped the car, telling interrogators at that moment he attacked the victim and left him in Oroklini, Larnaca district. He then drove to the woman’s apartment, telling her that Andrei would be back later.
After driving back to Andrei’s location in the evening, the suspect realized his victim had died, he told police. He then transported the body at another location, near Larnaca district court, where he buried the victim.
Police officials and forensic examiners said the suspect was “calm and cooperative” with authorities, while the suspect reportedly told investigators he did not know that he had killed Andrei after the fight but only injured him until later when he realized his wife’s boyfriend was dead.
Previous reports said the woman had reported her boyfriend missing on July 23, saying after Andrei left his apartment in the afternoon, around 2:20pm with two other individuals, aged 25 and 26.
An hour later, around 3:20pm, Andrei reportedly contacted an acquaintance and said that he was driven to an unknown location where the suspect and another male attacked and robbed, while they also tried to take his phone.
CID Larnaca officials reportedly said the phone was deactivated on July 22 around 3:40pm, while the woman’s story did not appear to be without contradictions.
Additional reports said the woman was expected to be questioned by police on Thursday, while the main suspect was schedule to appear before a Larnaca district judge for his remand hearing.
Two other suspects previously arrested in the case on assault and robbery charges were later released, with police saying they had no involvement in the case. One suspect, aged 26, was detained on July 25 while the other, aged 28, was arrested on August 10.