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29 May, 2024
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SBA judge faces dilemma in fake cocaine case

Drug Squad in Republic of Cyprus wants suspects handed over, defense points to unrelated arrestable offenses


The attorneys of two men, who were arrested in Akrotiri in connection with a cocaine shipment investigation, are asking the SBA judge not to hand over their clients to the drug squad of the Republic of Cyprus, arguing their arrestable offenses were committed on British Base soil and had nothing to do with drugs.

Earlier this week local media said two men were arrested in Akrotiri by SBA officers, who caught the suspects after they entered a storage facility in Asomatos where fake cocaine had been planted by cops in Athens during a ship container inspection.

Defense attorneys have raised objections over their clients being released from SBA into the custody of the state's drug squad, arguing the men were only facing conspiracy and trespassing charges

SBA Police reportedly had joined an investigation with Greek and Cypriot authorities into a cocaine shipment from Piraeus to Limassol. Reports said Hellenic drug enforcement agents had been tipped off about a Limassol-bound refrigerated container at the Greek port, with produce from Ecuador, containing 14 packages of cocaine weighing total of 17.66 kilos.

Local media said a controlled delivery was coordinated between Greek, Cypriot, and SBA Police, while additional reports said fake cocaine had been used instead of the real drugs.

But defense attorneys in the case have raised objections over their clients being released from SBA into the custody of the state's drug squad, arguing that the men were detained in Akrotiri on conspiracy and trespassing charges.

The suspects have reportedly denied any involvement I the drug case. Local media said their arrest took place after they cut a fence, entered the storage area, and removed the container opening to start retrieving the drugs.

Local media said an SBA judge was expected on Friday to rule on the motion filed by the defense. This was later pushed back to Monday.

SBA courts apply Sovereign Base Area law, which is closely aligned with, and in some cases identical to, the laws operating within the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  Akrotiri  |  drugs  |  cocaine  |  SBA  |  Greece  |  Ecuador  |  produce  |  shipment  |  container

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