Two Cypriot nationals charged with multiple counts of money laundering in Fiji were further remanded in court on Friday. Their case will be heard again later this month or in February.
Brothers Loizos Petridis and Kleanthis Petridis were allegedly involved in multiple suspicious ATM transactions last month and are currently being held in police custody.
They face a total of 293 counts of money laundering.
The two men were earlier jointly charged with six counts of money laundering involving $3,060, although the money seized from them totalled $150,000.
According to local news site Fijivillage.com, Kleanthis Petridis asked Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama during Friday’s proceedings if his MasterCard could be released so that he could buy some necessary items. The magistrate reportedly rejected the request, saying the card is at the centre of the investigation.
Filippos Kritiotis, Cyprus’ high commissioner to Australia with parallel accreditation to Fiji, told the state broadcaster that the two Cypriots were placed under arrest on December 19, 2017.
They had arrived in Fiji on December 12 and were planning to leave on December 24.
According to Kritiotis, the foreign ministry learned of their arrest on December 28.
Sigma reported that the two brothers have had previous run-ins with the law.
Loizos Petridis is wanted by Cypriot authorities. A warrant for his arrest is pending for a case dating back to 2017 and being investigated by Nicosia CID.
His brother, Kleanthis, had previously been tried on charges of importing and possessing illegal drugs.