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Crime Cyprus

Larnaca man gets two years for spate of arson attacks

Larnaca courthouse

A 32-year-old man from Larnaca, Valentino Alamango was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday after he was found guilty of arson and attempting to destroy property with the use of explosives.

Key witness to the case was Elladi Sousanidi, the bodyguard for Giorgos Georgiou, also known as Chiquito who was gunned down outside his home in March.

Sousanidi had been threatened and offered cash to leave the country and no longer be a witness in this case.

During the period  2013-2014, Alamango was tied to four instances of arson attacks in Larnaca, Aradippou and Liopetri costing €11,600.

The first was on January 26, 2013 when an explosion at a betting shop destroyed equipment at a cost of €10,000. Police had found it had been a malicious attack as the interior had been doused with petrol.

Two days later, at 5am there was an arson attack on a car, with €900 worth of damage.

On November 14, an improvised explosive device was found outside a store at Grivas Dighenis in Larnaca, however it never went off as the fuse wire did not catch fire.

Lastly, on March 10, 2014, a betting shop owner found the glass front of his store was smashed and up in flames. The €700 damage was not covered by insurance and police found it was set maliciously with the use of petrol.

Sousanides said he was the driver in these operations and was getting orders from Alamango who in turn got orders from someone else.

The witness would get paid in cash.

Alamango’s lawyer, trying to mitigate the sentence, said Sousanides, who had been an accomplice was not sentenced.

He also referenced Alamango’s clean record, minimal involvement, his mother’s mental health problems and those of his fiancé’s mother.

The court conceded that no lives were put at risk and that the accused did not reap financial benefits.

Alamango was sentenced for a year for conspiring to commit a felony, two years for the count of arson and two years for attempting to destroy property with the use of explosives.

The charges will run concurrently from June 2015 when he was placed in custody.

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