An islandwide manhunt is in progress for a 63-year old former convict who shot at police officers on Thursday as they attempted to raid his Limassol home following up on information he was in possession of firearms and loot from bank robberies.
Andreas Angelides described Andreas Onoufriou as “armed and extremely dangerous” and warned that members of the public should not approach him under any circumstances.
He confirmed that Limassol police attempted to execute a search warrant on Onoufriou’s flat in the Kapsalos area at 6.30am after receiving information the 63-year-old had in his possession a G3 military-issued assault riffle and cash from a string of recent bank robberies in the Limassol area.
The former convict opened fire on the police officers when he saw them approaching his home and managed to flee the scene in a pick-up truck.
The truck, which is registered to a foreign national, was found abandoned by the police later in the afternoon not far from his home.
“This in an extremely serious case and we are asking the public to remain vigilant,” said Angelides.
The spokesman added that officers from the Anti Terror Squad had been focusing the search around the Fysko Lotus Plaza flats complex after a number of witnesses said they spotted the fugitive roaming the area on foot. Onoufriou was last seen dressed in black trousers and a black shirt. Attempts to track him with sniffer dogs have so far proved unsuccessful.
Authorities are urging anyone with information on the fugitive’s whereabouts to notify Limassol police on 25805511, 25805054 or via the Citizen’s Line: 1460.
Onoufriou received an 18 year jail sentence in 1996 for the attempted murder of a District Court judge. The judge lost a toe and his five-year-old daughter suffered burns when a bomb was detonated under their car.
Witnesses gave evidence during the trial that Onoufriou had said he planned to kill the judge for presiding over a debt-settling dispute in which he was involved.
He was released in 2008 and sent back to prison in 2012 after being convicted in a plot to assassinate former attorney general Petros Clerides.