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Cyprus

Russian woman arrested in Ayia Fyla case released (Update)

A 50-year-old Russian woman was arrested but not held by police in Limassol on Saturday in connection with a €12-million loan scam at the Ayia Fyla co-operative bank.

Her arrest marked the conclusion of efforts to carry out 19 arrest warrants issued by the Limassol district court on Monday.

The scam related to taking out loans from the co-op without the required collateral.

The 50-year-old woman used to live with a 55-year-old businessman, thought to be the brains of the operation, who is in custody and cooperating with investigators.

Deposits of large sums of money have been found in the Russian’s bank accounts, which police think may be money her former partner got from the co-op.

Following investigation, the 50-year-old was found to have had no prior knowledge of the accounts her partner kept in her name, with who she has had no relations for years.

In light of this information, the 50-year-old, who is also the mother and sole guardian of an underage child she had with the 55-year-old businessman, was released.

Investigations have thus far landed 17 individuals in custody, while the 18th, a property valuator was released after his arrest, when it was established that his signature and company logo, which had been found on property valuations backing some of the loans, had been forged.

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