By Angelos Anastasiou
A police raid on a suspected gambling establishment in Limassol on Sunday night left 57 individuals accused of gambling and large sums of cash and gambling paraphernalia confiscated as evidence.
According to a police report, shortly after 9 pm on Sunday, members of CID and the Forensic Electronic Data Lab, as well as riot squad MMAD units, conducted a raid on a two-storey building in Yermasoyia, Limassol.
Approaching the building, police arrested a 33-year-old man who had been executing guard duties at the front door, and found two remote controls on his person – one triggering a warning mechanism for those inside and another used to open the secret passages.
Once inside, police discovered a secret passage behind a false wall on the ground floor, which hid a stairwell leading up to the first floor.
During the ensuing searches, 18 individuals were found gambling for money on the ground floor, while nine more had gathered to gamble.
All were arrested and charged.
The ground floor also produced large sums in cash – namely, 2,750 in euros, 850 in US dollars, 70 Swiss francs, and 222 Qatari riyals. The money, along with four locked safes, gambling chips, playing cards, 56 chairs, three computers and the two remote controls were seized as evidence.
At the same time, during a search in the first floor two roulette tables, and one each for poker and black jack.
Twenty individuals were spotted in the premises, who were arrested and charged with intent to gamble after they tried to flee the scene.
Eight more individuals were found offering various services in the building.
From the first floor, 1,740 in euros, two roulettes, 37 chairs, seven black jack tables, playing cards, gambling chips, and a glass table, were seized as evidence.
In addition to the 55 patrons and the front-door guard, the establishment’s manager was also charged for allowing gambling in her premises and allowing entry to a minor.
Police have announced that coordinated and targeted raids to curb gambling will intensify ahead of the holiday season.
Christmas time is traditionally a popular gambling period in Cyprus, with many locals joining gambling tables in social gatherings.