Cyprus Mail

New arrest in Ayia Fyla co-op case

Police arrested a man aged 52 on Wednesday in connection with the Ayia Fyla co-op case where up to €25 million in irregular loans were given out after property prices were inflated as part of a scam.

Arrested in Nicosia, he was taken to Limassol for further questioning while police are still on the hunt for another three people with outstanding warrants, two men aged 69 and 45 and a woman aged 49.

Police believe the woman may be abroad and has had previous run-ins with authorities. The 45-year old man – Iordanis Kostekoglou is suspected to be in the northern part of Cyprus.

The man that was arrested is reportedly the driver of a contractor implicated in the case who was arrested last week and placed in custody.

Suspects were allegedly finding people who had financial problems and in exchange for money they were presented as guarantors for loans taken by the contractor or his company.

Several of them were allegedly picked out from betting shops.

The papers signed by the paid volunteers were later converted and the signatories were unwittingly  turned into principal debtors.

The contractor and three other co-op employees who were also arrested last week are suspected, among other things, of having conspired with valuators to inflate the going market price of properties so that commensurately inflated loans could be approved.

The suspected irregularities were reported to police in March 2015, after the findings of an internal audit at the co-op were forwarded to the Legal Service.

Police investigations revealed 110 loans given in violation of due procedure, for a total of €25 million. At this stage, investigators are focusing on alleged offences committed from 2006 to 2009, relating to 22 loans adding up to €9.5 million.

If anyone has more information contact Limassol police at 25 805057 or any other station, or with the citizens hotline 1460.

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