Cyprus Mail

Second man arrested in connection to ammonium nitrate haul

Police on Saturday arresred a 62-year-old Lebanese man with a Cyprus passport in connection with the five tonnes of ammonium nitrate found in Laranca last week.

According to the police during their investigations into the 26-year-old Canadian Lebanese already being held in custody, the older man was implicated, and appears to have imported the chemical into Cyprus in ice packs as part of first aid kits.

Members of CID Larnaca went to Nicosia and arrested the man who was then questioned.

On Sunday he is expected to be presented before Larnaca District Court for a remand order.

The five tonnes of ammonium nitrate have been transported to an undisclosed location for temporary storage and disposal, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Friday.

Reuters cited an unnamed security source saying that an additional 10 tonnes of icepacks were retrieved from the scene. Ammonium nitrate is an ingredient used in icepacks.

“We are looking into how long it was there,” said the source, adding it could have been many months or even a couple of years. The authorities have established how it arrived in Cyprus, the source said, declining to elaborate.

It also quoted security sources saying authorities were looking into a possible link with Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a claim also made by Israel, but the suspect denies any connection with the group or the hoard of chemicals.

He is facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and illegally keeping and transporting explosives.

His lawyer said the man had happened to be at the property because his family was considering renting or buying the property. He claims that he got the keys to inspect the house and that he happened to be there when the police raided the house. The owner of the house, also Lebanese, has a French passport and lives abroad.

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