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16 June, 2024
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Robbery cover or money laundering saga?

The reported robbery in Limassol last week takes a strange twist

Apostolis Tomaras

Apostolis Tomaras

A robbery in Limassol last week has taken a dramatic turn as law enforcement authorities suspect involvement in a black money laundering ring. Evidence suggests that the reported robbery in Germasogeia, where a 31-year-old Ukrainian woman claimed to be the victim of a €420 thousand theft, may not align with the actual events. The woman reported the incident, stating she was robbed by an unknown person on a motorbike who snatched her bag containing the mentioned sum.

Within 24 hours, the alleged victim was taken into custody by court order, and CID Headquarters joined the investigation, revealing more serious issues behind the reported robbery. The official police statement now cites an investigation into "participation in a criminal organization, participation and acceptance of the commission of crimes, money laundering from illegal activities, and conspiracy to commit a felony," with no mention of the initial robbery.

This unexpected turn has led authorities to explore more severe offenses, including money laundering, suggesting broader implications involving other entities beyond the police. Initial information indicates that the Ukrainian woman, initially seen as the victim, had previously declared significant sums of money to customs authorities upon successive arrivals in Cyprus. It remains uncertain whether the amount stolen in the reported robbery had been declared upon import.

If the preliminary evidence holds, the 31-year-old Ukrainian woman may have acted as a "courier," transferring the €420 thousand on behalf of third parties. This revelation has prompted concern among Cypriot authorities, possibly involving the Anti-Crime Unit to trace the money's source, route, and final recipient in Cyprus. Legal sources in Limassol firmly believe that this case is a clear instance of money laundering.

One significant question arising is the authenticity of the reported robbery, currently under investigation. Legal sources suggest that the Ukrainian woman brought attention to herself by reporting the theft, potentially involving her in a fabricated scheme. The ongoing investigations, potentially with assistance from MOCAS, may extend beyond Cyprus to uncover the full extent of the situation.

[This article was translated from its Greek original and may have been edited for brevity and clarity]

Cyprus  |  robbery  |  Limassol  |  crime

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