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15 April, 2024
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Ukrainian woman's robbery unravels into money laundering investigation

From bag snatch to money laundering suspicions, Cyprus Police dive into bizarre case


Investigations are intensifying at Police Headquarters regarding a startling case involving a 31-year-old Ukrainian woman who claimed to be a victim of a robbery in Germasogeia on Friday (01/03). The twist? The stolen bag reportedly contained a staggering 420 thousand euros, declared to Customs Authorities upon her morning arrival on the island. The woman insists the money was intended for an apartment purchase.

The 31-year-old, arrested on Saturday (02/03) and currently under a five-day detention ordered by the Nicosia District Court, faces a range of serious charges including participation in a criminal organization, commission of crimes, money laundering, and conspiracy.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou revealed that the woman made 15 trips to Cyprus since August 2023, bringing in a total of six million euros. However, suspicions arose immediately as the woman's claims about the robbery seemed inconsistent with evidence from Germasogeia's closed-circuit cameras and eyewitness accounts.

As contradictory statements emerged, authorities raised reasonable doubts, prompting collaboration with Interpol and Europol. The primary focus of the investigation is to trace the origin of the money and its destination. The woman's custody aims to determine the truth of her claims, scrutinize her possessions, and assess whether they correlate with funds brought into Cyprus.

The arrest stems from suspicions of money laundering tied to illicit activities. The incident occurred around noon on Friday when two assailants on a motorcycle reportedly snatched the woman's bag in Germasogeia. She claimed it held 420 thousand euros and insisted she had declared the amount at customs upon her arrival at Larnaca airport that morning.

Investigations reveal a pattern of the 31-year-old's repeated trips to Cyprus, declaring substantial money transfers during arrivals between August 2023 and March 2024.

Despite police examinations, the woman has not provided adequate explanations for the source and purpose of the funds. The HQ CID is spearheading the investigation, delving into the woman's mysterious financial activities and the circumstances surrounding the reported robbery. The case continues to unravel, leaving authorities piecing together the puzzle of this complex and perplexing scenario.

Cyprus  |  crime

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