An arrest has been made in the north in relation with the murder of a well-known Turkish Cypriot businessman with alleged links to the underworld, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Wednesday.
Reports the previous day had said Halil Falyali was gunned down in his car and died along with his driver after suffering serious injuries.
According to Haber Kibris, a suspect identified as present on the scene was arrested and has reportedly been remanded in custody for two days. Meanwhile, authorities are strictly monitoring ports, airports and crossings and seeking a specific vehicle with suspected links to the attack.
Falyali was reportedly being driven home by a chauffeur when men with automatic guns attacked the car he was in. The businessman was shot 18 times in the head and body. He died in hospital despite efforts to save him.
The driver was also killed in the attack, and police found 48 shells at the scene of the crime.
Falyali’s family, who were following him in a second car, were not harmed in the attack.
This has given way to speculation, with Yeni Duzen alleging that the attack was related to a ‘settling of debts’, and Halkin Sesi saying this was “the work of professionals”.
Havadis said the attackers must have had inside information as the other three cars in the convoy heading to Falyali’s house were not harmed.
The businessman was namechecked by Turkish gang leader Sedat Peker back in May, in one of the videos he posted with revelations about many political figures in Turkey and their alleged shady activities.
Peker in his video had also claimed that Falyali, who owned a casino hotel in Kyrenia, was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering in the north through his businesses in cooperation with Erkan Yildirim, son of former Turkish prime minister between 2016 and 2018, Binali Yıldırım.
Falyali had denied the claims and said he was not involved in any drugs cases and had never met in person with any of these individuals.
Turkish media had also written that over the past few decades, the businessman had amassed powerful connections related to illegal gambling in the north, and had unsuccessfully made a bid to buy Fulham FC in 2004.