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Cyprus

Abducted boys discharged from hospital, no abuse but evidence of sedatives (Updated)

The 35-year-old man was detained by police in his apartment near the school (CNA)

The two 11-year-old boys who were abducted earlier this week were on Thursday discharged from Larnaca general hospital, having undergone a series of medical and physical tests and though there was no indication of abuse, it appeared they had been given sedatives.

In the presence of social workers, they later provided police with statements that were recorded on tape.

Both their statements as well as that of the kidnap suspect will be relayed to the attorney-general’s office who will decide what charges to bring.

The boys were taken on Tuesday. Acting on a tip from a member of the public, police later found the two children in the residence of a 35-year-old man.

The kidnapper pretended to be a new teacher at the school and asked a group of boys for help to carry some books. The two boys, who are friends, volunteered.

The suspect has given police a statement admitting the offences. He claimed that he planned to hold the boys to ransom but police are investigating all other possibilities.

On Wednesday he was remanded in custody for eight days. He is being held in an undisclosed location.

The man had no criminal record nor any previous run-ins with the law.

The boys were examined by doctors who did not find any signs of abuse.

However, initial reports that the man had administered a sedative to the two youngsters appeared to be confirmed on Thursday.

Yiannis Kkolos, an official with the state pharmaceutical services, told Sigma that the boys had ingested Lorazepam.

The drug, sold under the brand name Ativan among others, treats anxiety disorders and induces sleep.

According to the same official, the prescription drug is not recommended for minors.

It is speculated that the man administered the sedative to keep the two boys calm.

Sigma reported that the suspect mixed the medicine into lemonade he gave the boys to drink.

Meanwhile education minister Costas Hambiaouris has asked school authorities for a detailed report on the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping of two boys from a Larnaca school earlier this week.

It’s understood the report will be looking, among other things, into why no one noticed the two pupils went missing for at least 45 minutes.

 

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