LARNACA - A well-known Larnaca businessman and two police officers were yesterday ordered to remain in police custody while investigations in the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) land deal scandal continue.
Speaking during the remand hearing yesterday, case investigator Eleftherios Argyrou said Nicos Lillis, 42, and Cyprus Intelligence Services (KYP) officers Costas Miamiliotis, 53, and Lefteris Mouskos, 40, are believed to have had a hand in the suspected land swindle deal in Dromolaxia, Larnaca.
Argyrou went on to tell the court that both former and current high-ranking officials were also involved, without specifying whether their role was legal or not.
He referred to a political party, a former undersecretary to the president, the head of KYP, CyTA Chairman, a high-ranking official of the Cyprus Union of Bank Employees (ETYK), Alki club officials and a former Larnaca mayor among others.
The three men are under investigation for charges relating to conspiracy to commit a crime, fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, committing fraudulent transactions on a property belonging to another person, fraudulent sale or mortgaging of a property, bribing a civil servant, abuse of power, falsely legalising income from illegal activities and corruption.
Larnaca District Court judge Stefi Vasiliou ordered the men to be held in police custody for eight days.
According to the charge sheet, the crimes were committed between 2007 and July 18 this year in the districts of Larnaca, Famagusta and Nicosia.
An investigative committee was appointed in June to probe allegations after businessman Charalambos Liotatis turned whistleblower on the scandal.
During the subsequent investigation that followed, police discovered two cheques totaling €50,000 made out to Miamiliotis and Mouskos.
A report by KYP which facilitated the sale of the property in the government controlled areas during the Christofias administration was also brought into question.
The report originally stated that Turkish Cypriot property owner Moustafa Moustafa had never worked in the free areas; however, this mysteriously changed in the later draft stating that he had in fact worked and lived in the free areas for a period of over six months, which legally entitled him to sell his property.
The court yesterday heard how the property was bought from Moustafa by a company owned by Lillis in 2010 for €1.27 million and sold the following year to the Cyta Pension Fund for €9.9m of which around a further €20m worth of investment was to be spent on building four office buildings called ‘Aero’ to house office workers for Larnaca international airport.
An arrest warrant has been issued for a fourth suspect – a former police officer – in relation to the case.