Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Larnaca court renews remand order for Ayia Napa suspects

The Larnaca District court ordered the remand of the couple, a 32-year-old man and his 30-year-old girlfriend, arrested in connection with the murder of four men outside an Ayia Napa restaurant last month, for another eight days on Wednesday.

According to lead police investigator Loizos Iona, on the evening of June 23, 51-year-old businessman Fanos Theofanous Kalopsidiotis, 37-year-old MMAD member Georgios Charalambous, policeman Ilias Hadjiefthimiou, 46, and his 39-year-old wife and their two children, were dining at a restaurant in Ayia Napa.

During dinner, two individuals approached and fired shots at them with pistols and automatic guns, killing Kalopsidiotis and the couple, and injuring Charalambous, as well as a man sitting at a nearby table with Kalopsidiotis’ Serbian bodyguard.

One of the shooters, a 41-year-old Albanian man, was shot and killed during the attack, and was found to have been carrying a ‘Glock’ pistol.
When the shootout was over, the remaining perpetrator fled the scene in a car.

Early the next morning, police found a car burning in Ayia Napa. Inside the car, a Kalashnikov gun was found, believed to have been used in the murders. The car had been reported stolen in Nicosia between June 19 and 20.

An Albanian man, Aleks Burreli, wanted by police as he is believed to have been one of the shooters, remains at large.

Last Thursday, the 30-year-old woman, Sotira Neophytou, told police investigators in a statement that her 32-year-old boyfriend, Charalambos Andreou, brought two foreign men, whom she didn’t know, to her Aglandjia apartment, which she had been trying to rent out.

Andreou, she said, asked her to bring them food every day, and had her bring them a gun-cleaning kit, which she borrowed from a relative.

Upon her insistence to know why Andreou was acting strange, Neophytou said she was told that the men had “come to carry out an action”, offering no further details.

On the day after the murders, Neophytou said she was told by Andreou that he had been the driver in the incident, that the two foreign men she had been accommodating were the two shooters, that one had been killed in the shootout, and that the other was hiding in her Aglandjia flat.

The couple then carried the wanted man into hiding in an area in Nicosia, she added.

In his own statement to police last Tuesday, Andreou confessed to his involvement in the murders, and named Burreli as his associate, as well as four others, who have since been arrested and remanded.

According to the lead investigator, the suspect said he was the person who arranged for the two Albanians’ accommodation, furnished them with guns, carried out repeated stake-outs with them, and drove the car to and from the scene on the night of the murders.

Upon fleeing the scene with Burreli, he said, they linked up with two other cars, boarding one each, and torching the stolen getaway car.

Andreou said that, after the murders, he took Burreli to Limassol, along with the person giving him instructions and his girlfriend, in a bid to hide him from police.

Returning to Nicosia, Andreou said he left Burreli in hiding in the Aglandjia flat, and the next day another person, also in remand, took him to another flat in Limassol.

Police investigations have thus far failed to locate the Albanian suspected shooter, but evidence found in Nicosia and Limassol tend to confirm claims as to his location immediately after the murders.

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