President Nikos Christodoulides and members of his cabinet are closely monitoring reports that a Greek Cypriot law firm is representing an Israeli businessman with a slew of construction projects in the north, government sources said on Thursday.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, a source close to the matter said Christodoulides, the interior minister, as well as the foreign minister were “carefully following” the case, with the aid of technocrats also roped in.

Asked about the legal ramifications of the case, the source said the attorney-general is best-placed to assess the matter but sought to stress the importance of the ethical issue at stake.

“It’s not desirable for such things to be happening, after all the fights the Republic has given,” the government source said.

Reports suggested the government is currently investigating whether there are criminal offences surrounding the question of illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot land in the north.

The story came to light in Politis after it reported the law firm co-founded by Cyprus Bar Association chairman Christos Clerides, was the legal firm representing businessman Afik Yaacov, CEO of Afik Group.

The group has been involved in constructing over 8,000 property units in the north, across Famagusta, Karpasia and Kyrenia.

Phoebus, Christos Clerides & Associates moved to rubbish the claims denying it had ever assisted or facilitated matters concerning the north. It has since moved to sue Politis.

Yaacov registered Danileni Ltd in Cyprus in November 2020. The address listed in the company registration is the same as that of the law firm.

Publishing more revelations on Thursday, Politis said 100 per cent of Danileni’s shares were owned by Netherlands-based Blue Zone B.V.

The Dutch company is also owned in its entirety by Yaacov, who is listed as the sole shareholder.

Afik Group was founded by Simon Mistriel Aykut in 1995 to a Jewish family in Bergama region. Both Aykut and Yaacov have received a ‘TRNC nationality’, the paper reported.

It also added that Danilen can operate as a construction company, refurbish, decorating, renting or maintaining property.

Clerides has pointed to sinister motives behind the story, suggesting it may be linked to the upcoming elections in the bar association, for which he is the current chairman of.

“There are a lot of sensitivities surrounding the case,” the government source said, noting Christodoulides was aware of the matter before the report surfaced.