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Two arrested in north in connection with gangland murders in Republic (Updated)

murder one bad
Scene of the murder in Limassol

The two men arrested at the north’s Ercan (Tymbou) airport on Wednesday have “nothing to do with the murders of Thanasis Kalogeropoulos and Alexis Mavromichalis”, police spokesman Christos Andreou said on Thursday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Andreou said one of the pair is a German citizen who is wanted in Poland, while the Republic’s police have no information on the second man.

He said the first man arrived at Larnaca airport on October 28 and was found by information available on the Schengen Information System to be wanted by the Polish authorities “in connection with various crimes”, including participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, and extorting money under false pretenses.

He was arrested and remained in custody until October 31, when he was released on a €50,000 bail and required to present himself to the Yermasoyia police station on certain dates.

In addition, he was placed on the stop list and required to hand over his travel documents.

He was supposed to present himself to the Yermasoyia police station on November 3, but failed to do so.

The following day, the Turkish Cypriot authorities informed the Republic’s police via the bicommunal liaison office of the Technical Committee on Crime that he had attempted to leave the island via Ercan (Tymbou) airport, using his German identity card alongside the other man.

It was found at the airport that neither man had an entry stamp issued by the north’s authorities and as a result, both were arrested.

The pair arrived at the airport and attempted to pass through passport control to board a private jet which was waiting for them, when Turkish Cypriot police realised that both of them had crossed into the north illegally from the Republic.

After questioning, they were taken to the north’s central prison.

Both are suspected of having Polish and Russian connections, and Turkish Cypriot news website Haber Kibris reported earlier on Thursday that the pair “wanted to quickly escape from the island” and are “suspected of being connected” to the two murders.

Turkish Cypriot police are now investigating whether the pair are in fact connected to the murders, with local reports having suggested there is a “strong possibility” that this is the case.

Two men have already been arrested in the Republic over the murder of Thanasis Kalogeropoulos, and both were remanded in custody for eight days by the Limassol District Court on Sunday.

The court heard that one suspect had held a meeting with Kalogeropoulos ten days prior to the murder, according to what he told police.

Police said the man had met with Kalogeropoulos to discuss illegal gambling activities.

They added that although the vehicle used to escape the scene was recorded on a CCTV camera, the footage is of poor quality, and for this reason, police are now searching for other footage from other cameras in the area to determine the identity of the murderer.

At the same time, police have requested telecommunications data from Mavromichalis’ telephones, with the aim of determining whether he received threats prior to the murder, and who he spoke to in the hours leading up to his murder.

Thanasis Kalogeropoulos was shot 10 times in broad daylight in Limassol on October 30 while on the way to his morning swim.

Alexis Mavromichalis, also known as Alexoui, was shot while standing on the balcony of his apartment in Nicosia the following day.

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