By Constantinos Psillides
A 35-year-old man from Limassol was arrested on Friday night, in connection with the hoax text message saying another deposits haircut and possible closure of the Bank of Cyprus was imminent.
According to the police report, the man’s apartment was raided and officers confiscated a computer and a number of other items. The man was taken to the Limassol police station for questioning.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told CyBC radio on Saturday that they found the suspect after discovering that the hoax text originated from his computer IP address. Angelides added that the 35-year-old was being uncooperative. He was also already known to authorities, he said.
The 35-year old is expected to appear before the Limassol District Court later on Saturday.
The hoax message put authorities in panic mode, since it could have prompted a bank run. Chairwoman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Demetra Kalogirou –who was supposedly the originator of the message – filed a complaint with the police on Friday.
The message even prompted a reaction from President Nicos Anastasiades, who declared it a “despicable and criminal act. No one plays games with his country’s economy,” he said on Friday.
The text message supposedly from Kalogirou to a friend, read: “Georgia, we have just finished the meeting, things are looking very bad, rush to withdraw your money from the Bank of Cyprus. We are heading straight towards a haircut or perhaps closing the bank. From D. Kalogirou. CALL 80001088 TO STOP.”