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Man arrested over imported car scam

A 34-year-old male foreign national was remanded on Monday for four days for allegedly collecting around €15,500 in down payments from unsuspecting car buyers to arrange the import of vehicles from abroad which never arrived.

According to the head of the Limassol CID, Ioannis Soteriades, police have received five reports in recent months against the suspect who allegedly collected around €15,500 from people who had expressed interest in purchasing a car.

The latest report was filed on March 3 by a woman, also foreign national who lives permanently in Limassol, who said that she had met the suspect last November and he had introduced himself as a car salesman.

The woman told police she had paid the 34-year-old €5,000 as down payment after they had agreed for him to arrange the import of a car he had shown her on a website. Three weeks later, when the car was supposed to be delivered to her but she had heard no word from the suspect, the woman called him only to hear a number of excuses.

This carried on for a while, she told police, as she kept calling to enquire about the delay of the car’s delivery and the suspect was either making more excuses or ignoring her calls.

The 34-year-old was arrested on Sunday. Soteriades said that the suspect had been arrested in the past for similar offences concerning money extortion under false pretences.

Soteriades urged members of the public to be vigilant to avoid being scammed.

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