By Constantinos Psillides
POLICE WERE still searching on Saturday for a 14-year-old girl allegedly involved in a recent rape and kidnap case in which a leading Larnaca businessman has been detained.
According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, additional information came to light on Friday night after investigators interrogated key witnesses for a second time and secured new leads, but so far the girl hasn’t been located.
The police are looking for the girl they believe is one of two underage victims in an alleged kidnap and rape case involving a well-known 59-year-old Larnaca businessman and another 35-year-old man.
Both were remanded by the Larnaca District court for six days in custody on May 1. The 35-year-old is being held at the Aradippou police station while the 59-year old was taken at the Larnaca General Hospital on Friday, after he told police officers that he was feeling indisposed and dizzy. He is currently at the hospital under heavy guard.
Neither man can be named until he has been officially charged.
The two of them were arrested on April 30, following a report by a 15-year-old girl who told officers at the Larnaca Crime Investigation Unit that between the dates of April 26 and 28 she was raped by the two men.
According to the police report, the girl told officers that she met the 35-year-old on Facebook and arranged to meet with him on April 26. She claimed that when they met the man abducted her and took her to his apartment where he beat and raped her. The 15-year-old also told police that a 14-year-old girl also came to the man’s apartment and had sex with him, in exchange for money.
The two underage girls, according to the report, were taken to a second apartment on April 28 where they had sex with the 59-year-old businessman and the 35-year-old.
After the 15-year-old girl went to the police, the younger man’s apartment was raided. Police found cocaine and cannabis and also confiscated a mobile phone and a computer.
Appearing before court, the 59-year-old’s lawyer said that his client was “emotionally devastated” and promised to fully cooperate with authorities. The 35-year-old appeared without a lawyer and denied all charges. The 35-year-old told the court that both girls had sex with him willingly. He added that he met both girls on Facebook and that both of them were prostitutes. The 35-year-old said that he didn’t know how old they were.
The businessman is being held on suspicion of conspiring to commit a felony, solicitation and corrupting a minor. The 35-year-old is faced with the more serious charges, since the police are accusing him of sex-trafficking a minor, kidnap, rape, causing actual bodily harm, solicitation and theft. Police are also trying to build a case around the narcotic substances found in his apartment.
Both men will appear before the Larnaca District Court on Wednesday.