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Three arrested in connection with Serbian contract assassins

Police on Thursday arrested three persons in connection with the arrival in Cyprus of two contract assassins from Serbia last year.

The three persons are a 30-year-old Turkish Cypriot, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot, and a 47-year-old Serb national who is currently a convict at the central prisons, serving out a sentence for a drugs-related offence.

They are suspected of having played a part in arranging or mediating for the arrival here of two Serb hitmen, whose target is believed to have been businessman Phanos Kalopsioditis, who was subsequently shot to death in an Ayia Napa restaurant on June 23, 2016. Three other people died in the gunfire.

The three men arrested are suspected of conspiracy to commit murder, participation in a criminal act, and illegal possession and carrying of firearms.

The alleged crimes in question are understood to have taken place in the March to April 2016 period.

On Friday, the three men will appear before a court for their remand hearing.

Police have also issued arrest warrants for five more individuals for the same case.

It is understood that four of these persons are currently abroad, and one is in Cyprus.

Last year, following the Ayia Napa quadruple murder, reports surfaced that those behind the contract killing had been warned that the police were on to them, and this made them postpone the attempt.

According to the reports, the police officer in Cyprus who was dealing with the information from Serbia called the man believed to be the mastermind behind the contract killing, apparently thinking he was calling Serbian Interpol. This alerted the man who called off the hit.

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