A suspected Bulgarian conman was yesterday remanded in police custody for eight days on suspicion of defrauding 423 jobless Cypriots out of €260,000 to find them work that didn’t exist.
According to police, Petar Gospodinov Penchev, 48, was arrested on October 30 in his home country and was extradited to Cyprus on Wednesday night.
Investigators say he is a close associate of the Tunisian mastermind of the scam in Larnaca while a 64-year-old Greek man, also said to be an associate, is meanwhile in the Serbian capital of Belgrade battling his extradition to Cyprus.
Cypriot police and Interpol, meanwhile, are still looking for the Tunisian, who has been named as Mohammad Jamal Bin Hassan, but also goes under false Greek names including Giorgos Krasopoulos and Andreas Mavratzakis.
All three men are said by police of committing fraud amounting to over €260,000, received in exchange for the promise of guaranteed employment abroad.