A 56-year-old man was yesterday remanded for three days in custody in connection with a bomb scare that led to Tuesday’s temporary evacuation of all passengers and staff at Larnaca Airport.
Speaking during the hearing at Larnaca District Court, the case investigator confirmed the suspect, who works as a bus driver, was arrested on Tuesday evening after the phone number the bomb hoax was called from was traced back to a phone registered in his name.
He explained that after securing an injunction police traced the prepaid phone card used to make the call which was also used several times between Sunday and Tuesday. It was also established the call was made close to the Larnaca Nautical Club.
The investigator added that police have also determined that the prepaid card was recently used in another phone that is registered to the suspect.
Police arrested the suspect at his home in the Strovolos area of Nicosia and searched the premises without finding anything suspicious.
During police questioning, the suspect denied all involvement in the hoax but confirmed that the phone the prepaid card was used in is his.
He claims that at 9.00am on Tuesday, when the hoax call was made, he was in his bus parked close to Oroklini police station before heading off to Phinikoudes.
The case investigator added that on January 2 this year the suspect called Larnaca Police Station and over the phone threatened to commit suicide due to problems he is facing at work. He added that several police stations around Cyprus received letters with similar threats from the suspect in which he listed his details including a telephone number which was traced back to the same device used to make the bomb hoax call.
The suspect’s lawyer said there is no evidence to connect his client with the bomb scare and noted that the SIM card used to place the call has still not been found.
Police are currently trying to determine the shop the card was bought from in order to examine CCTV footage and identify the buyer.
The bomb scare lasted for around 90 minutes and caused disruption at Larnaca.
Two flights at Larnaca Airport experienced slight delays while all passengers and staff members were temporarily evacuated as police conducted searches for suspicious items. Searches also took place at Paphos Airport but flights were not affected.
Three calls in total were made to the airports by an unidentified man warning each time that a bomb would detonate half an hour later.