Two men were remanded in custody for eight days in Limassol on Tuesday in connection with obtaining over €2 million under false pretenses from the owner of a construction company who had been promised favourable loan restructurings and other arrangements relating to VAT debt and property acquisitions.
The pair, 44 and 64, are being investigated for obtaining money under false pretenses, forgery, and money laundering, police told the court.
A third individual believed to be involved in the case is being sought.
They were arrested after a 70-year-old contractor reported to police he had paid them some €2.2m to arrange for a €3m loan to be restructured through an overseas bank, which was looking to enter the Cypriot market.
Police told the court the two suspects had succeeded in gaining the man’s trust, also promising to help arrange settlement of his debt at the VAT and proposing acquisition of real estate for development.
The pair convinced the man and his brother, who lives in South Africa, to transfer a large amount of cash to a bank in Lebanon, which was supposedly safer.
The suspects presented statements and bank documents that indicated his loan had been reduced by 58 per cent, as well government documents, which later proved to be counterfeit.
Police said the 44-year-old refused to talk to investigators while the second suspect made some claims, which were being looked into.