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13 June, 2024
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Lawyer raises red flag in foukou drug case

Witness in Cyprus' biggest drug case walks free but lawyer for man who got 23 years points to unfair treatment


A Greek Cypriot businessman whose cooperation with authorities led to a plea deal in connection with 628 kilos of ecstasy hidden in foukou barbeques has been set free, with the attorney of a warehouse associate who got 23 years in the same case taking the matter to the Supreme Court citing unfair treatment.

Cypriot Attorney General George Savvides commuted the sentence of a 32-year-old local businessman from Limassol, who got four years in a plea deal after admitting he exported some 200 aluminium Cypriot barbeques, known colloquially as foukou grills, that were equipped with false base plates concealing multiple packages of MDMA.

The businessman, who exported the grills to Australia via Singapore, initially maintained he did not know there was ecstasy hidden inside.

After a plea deal the businessman got a 4-year sentence that was effectively cut in half this week, but the man who got 23 years days earlier maintains both were equally active in the plan

But two years after his arrest and detention, the 32-year-old man reportedly struck a deal with prosecutors and testified against a 59-year-old warehouse associate and implicated his father, saying the son was the person who instructed him to arrange for a large shipment of MDMA worth some €25 million.

The state then dropped all but one conspiracy charge, resulting to a 4-year prison sentence for the businessman that was effectively cut in half this week.

Cyprus police has been under pressure to close the case, which got global attention after a tip from Nicosia authorities and a six-month investigation that led to an Australian raid in December 2019.

But the attorney for the warehouse associate is crying foul over the prosecution of the case and filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, saying his client was not treated fairly.

The warehouse associate pleaded guilty last week and got sentenced to 23 years behind bars, the highest ever prison sentence related to a drug case on the island.

But he maintains that both he and the businessman were equally active in the plan.

The attorney for the warehouse associate also pointed out that the offenses in the case were the same for both defendants but the punishment was grossly disproportionate.

Cyprus  |  Australia  |  foukou  |  Attorney General George Savvides  |  MDMA  |  ecstasy  |  barbeques  |  Australia  |  Singapore  |  drugs  |  police  |  plea deal

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