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Greek suspect in multiple crimes appears in court

Paphos District Court

Under strict security measures including armed police officers wearing bulletproof vests, a 30-year old man who was arrested on Friday was escorted to a Paphos court.

The suspect is allegedly involved in 15 offences, among them the illegal transport and possession of explosives and firearms, the theft of two vehicles, assault and causing bodily harm. The crimes took place between March and May.

Paphos district court judge Giorgos Vlamis ordered the man to be detained for seven days to facilitate investigations.

He said there is enough evidence to work on six cases, and police investigations are in process.

So far 23 people have been questioned, and another 46 will be interviewed, some of them with the help of an interpreter, which makes the process time-consuming.

Statements will be collected from friends and family of the suspect both in Limassol and Paphos, and from tenants of the apartment in Limassol where he was found and arrested, Vlamis explained.

In addition, the suspect will be questioned again while officers will look for some stolen property and a knife the man allegedly used against a woman. The man’s fingerprints will be taken and sent for scientific examinations to check if they match evidence taken at the crime scenes.

In his testimony, senior police officer and investigator Michalis Ioannou said that  based on evidence there is a strong likelihood the suspect is involved in all the offences under investigation.

He referred to a house burglary in Paphos on December 17, 2016, the theft of a military rifle and 200 cartridges and the theft of an iron box placed outside a car rental where keys of rented vehicles were returned. Cars worth €10,000 were stolen from the car rental on March 29, 2018.

In addition, the suspect was allegedly involved in stealing the registration plates of a woman’s rented car on April 21 this year, and on May 7 a restaurant owner in Nata reported that €170 and several credit cards were stolen, yet another crime the 30-year-old is suspected to have committed.

According to Ioannou, on May 20, one of the stolen vehicles from the rental office was located in the village of Achelia, Paphos. A second stolen vehicle was found parked and locked in an apartment complex parking lot on the Tombs of the Kings avenue in Kato Paphos.

Ioannou also referred to other cases of burglaries and thefts in which the 30-year-old was reportedly involved.

Together with the suspect, a Greek passport holder, three more people were arrested for the offence of helping him evade arrest after committing the crimes in the previous months.

According to police, a coordinated operation was carried out between 2am and 5.30am during which three investigations were conducted in apartments in Limassol. The suspect was arrested in a flat in Germasogeia.

Two women, 30 and 35, who were also in the flat were questioned and detained and the tenant of another apartment was arrested and questioned as part of police efforts to locate the man. One of the women is reportedly staying illegally in the country.

Others who knew him were also rounded up for questioning during the operation and various objects and documents were seized in the apartment where he was eventually found.

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