Cyprus Mail

Moldovan suspected of fraud to remain in custody

Paphos District Court

By Angelos Anastasiou

The ruling on 30-year-old Moldovan Andrey Tsigul’s remand hearing will be announced on Tuesday at 11am, Paphos district court judge Petros Michaelides said on Monday.

Tsigul had been held at Central Prisons on remand from August 29 until October 12 in connection with a case of fraud to the tune of $3.5 million.

The 30-year-old Moldovan was arrested August 28 after an international arrest warrant was issued against him by United States’ authorities in connection with allegations of fraud and unauthorised money transfers of over $3.5 million in total.

According to the warrant, Tsigul is suspected of having conspired to defraud a bank and commit computer fraud in the US from August 2012 to August 2015.

The man is accused of conspiring with others to illegally transfer sums in excess of $3.5 million from the computer of a clerk at a company to a bank in a third country.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has already authorised the initiation of proceedings for his extradition to the US, but on Monday the prosecution was unable to state when it might be concluded.

Tsigul’s lawyer tried to demonstrate that his client is not a flight risk, arguing that he has turned in his travel documents and that he maintains friendly and business relationships in Cyprus.

He said the Moldovan could appear at his nearest police station twice every day.

State prosecutor Eleni Loizidou countered that, in similar cases in the past, defendants had fled Cyprus, either via a private jet or yacht, or even through the occupied areas of Cyprus in the north.

No amount of bail would be satisfactory in such a case, she added.

Judge Michaelides ordered that the 30-year-old remain in custody, pending the court’s decision on Tuesday.

Paphos CID men arrested Tsigul after an Interpol wire revealed he had arrived in Cyprus on August 21 and was staying in Paphos.

During a search of his dwelling, the man consented to the search of a computer, which was seized as evidence.

On August 29, Paphos district court judge Kiki Kounidou ordered his remand until October 12.

Loizidou had argued that the man had a return ticket dated September 14, and that if released he could flee Cyprus via unauthorised channels.

She asked the court to keep the suspect in remand until his extradition process can commence.

His passport, Loizidou said, showed that he had visited France, Poland, and Romania, before arriving to Cyprus.

The offences facing the Moldovan could land him a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

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