A 33-year-old man was gunned down on the motorway just outside Ayia Napa on Thursday evening in what appears to be a gangland shooting, police said on Friday.
Gary Boris Christodoulou, a French passport holder, was found dead with two bullets to his head in an acacia grove around 100 metres from his silver Mercedes, which had been driven into a ditch next to the hard shoulder of the motorway.
Christodoulou had been found after a passer-by reported to police at 10.15 pm on Thursday that she had seen a car which seemed to have been involved in an accident on the Rizoelia to Ayia Napa road, around a kilometre from the round about that leads to Paralimni.
Officers found the vehicle with the engine running and the lights on but the driver was missing. A bullet was found lodged in the passenger seat that had shattered the front door window.
A search ensued and at 11.50pm officers found a dead man close to the road, approximately 150 metres from the car with two gunshots to his head.
Police later identified the man as Christodoulou, who was apparently known to police in relation with past drugs cases.
The scene was cordoned off, closing the road to traffic for hours as investigators sought to find leads that could lead them to the perpetrator or perpetrators.
Police also sealed off Christodoulou’s flat in Ayia Napa.
The post mortem revealed that Christodoulou received four gunshots, two to the head and two to his upper body.
Famagusta police spokesman Andreas Constantinou said the investigation was still in the early stages and could not provide any details on the shooting and the possible motive.
“It is expected that some answers will be given soon as to the way the particular crime was committed,” he said.
Police later used the area’s neighbourhood watch network to appeal for information about the incident.
It sent text messages to members asking them to come forward if they have any information.
Reports speculated that the killing could be linked to a gangland shooting at an Ayia Napa restaurant in June 2016 in which four people died, including a police officer and his wife who were having dinner with an underworld figure.
Christodoulou, according to reports, worked at an establishment in the popular holiday resort that belonged to one of the people jailed for that incident.