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Cyprus

Man tricked into handing over money for non-existent bride

Maid admitted the wedding between her employer and niece would never take place

A 33-year-old female domestic worker was remanded for six days on Wednesday for allegedly tricking her employer into giving her €4,500 to bring her niece to Cyprus to marry him but pocketing the money instead.

The case investigator told the Larnaca district court that the suspect’s employer, a 34-year-old man with mobility problems and visual impairment, reported that she tricked him into giving her in total €4,500 between the beginning of the year and April, to arrange to bring over her 20-year-old niece to marry him, but the woman never arrived.

The 34-year-old’s medical condition was the result of injuries he had suffered during the July 2011 blast in Mari, as he was on duty as a special constable at the electricity authority’s (EAC) premises in Zygi when the explosion occurred at the neighbouring naval station.

The court heard that he had hired the 33-year-old as a domestic worker to help him inside and outside the house. The suspect was staying with him at his home in Dromolaxia, in Larnaca.

He reported that the suspect had told him last November that she had a 20-year-old niece back in her country and asked him if he would be interested in meeting her and arrange for the woman to travel to Cyprus with the possibility of marrying her.

The 34-year-old agreed, the court heard, and after chatting with his would-be bride over the internet, he asked the suspect to arrange to bring her niece over.

In January, he gave the suspect €120 to issue a passport for the 20-year-old, and he kept giving money to her on several occasions to pay for the visa, plane tickets and other expenses. By April, he had given her €4,500.

He suspected foul play some two weeks ago following unsuccessful attempts to contact the 20-year-old via her social media account, police said.

After realising that the young woman had deactivated her Facebook account, and not receiving a satisfactory explanation from the suspect, he reported the case to the police.

The suspect reportedly admitted to sending the money she took from her employer to an account abroad, and that the 20-year-old was never coming to Cyprus. She also reportedly offered to pay back the money she took, with deductions from her salary.

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