Famagusta police have detained the 38-year-old employee of a fur coat shop, who claimed he had been robbed at gunpoint on Saturday morning while preparing to open.
The man, from Georgia, was arrested at 11pm on Saturday after failing to convince police officers with his story of how more than €150,000 and the safe their were stashed inside had gone missing.
The man had alleged that a pair of hooded robbers went into the shop, belonging to a Greek national, on the Paralimni to Dherynia road, just as he was opening for business at around 8.20am.
They threatened him with a sawed-off hunting shotgun they took out of a bag, and demanded “the money” in the Cypriot dialect, he told police.
He was bound – arms and legs – with cable ties and left half-way down the staircase leading to the basement where the small safe was.
The suspect told officers that he managed to jump up the stairs to the ground floor where he was seen by a cleaning lady who notified the authorities.
Police told the court, which remanded the man in custody for five days, that his story was not supported by their findings.
A state pathologist said he did not find signs on his body to confirm his claims that he had crawled.
During his remand hearing on Sunday, police also said the suspect had been in the Greek owner’s employment in August 2012 when a safe containing a large amount of cash was stolen from his shop on the island of Rhodes.
The safe along with hoods and stolen car license plates were found burned in the underground parking lot of a Larnaca apartment building.
I search at the suspect’s flat found €14,000, which he claimed were cash that he and his wife had saved.