Cyprus Mail

‘France construction’ scammer arrested

By Peter Stevenson

LARNACA district court remanded a 65-year-old Greek man for eight days on Wednesday in connection with a scam involving more than €290,000 taken from people duped into dishing out a cash deposit with the hope of a guaranteed job abroad.

Anastasios Mavas is the alleged right-hand man of the Tunisian mastermind, who went by the alias of Georgios Krasopoulos, behind the scam which saw more than 400 Cypriots desperate for work pay €620 each in return for a construction job in France.

Mavas is facing charges of forgery, counterfeiting, fraud and committing a felony between June and September of last year in the Larnaca, Limassol and Famagusta districts.

According to the court, the case began in June when G. Krasopoulos International Ltd. opened up shop as a development company with central offices in Larnaca and other offices in Limassol and Dherynia.

The company advertised in the local press and on the internet that it was looking to hire people to work on a construction site in Lille in France.

The court heard that the company gave candidates a contract to sign which obliged them to pay €620 upon the signature of the contract and another €600 once they had received their first two months’ salaries.

Between July 2 and 8, the 58-year-old Tunisian Mohamed Jamel Ben Hassen appeared at the head offices claiming to be the head of the company, saying his name was Georgios Krasopoulos and that he was from Greece.

The candidates were then given a presentation of the work they would undertake and told that an agreement had been made with a large developer in Lille. A total of 470 people were duped by the presentation and between June and September they all signed contracts and paid the €620 deposit, bringing the amount scammed to €291,400.

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