Four people were arrested on Friday as part of the north’s ongoing investigation into a college which is believed to be linked to a large criminal network. The four were all related to the Cyprus Massachusetts Centre of Innovation, having acted as the college’s secretary, accountant, manager, and deputy manager.

They all appeared in court the same day, accused of forging documents and committing fraud.

In court, police officer Burcin Korgan explained that the Pakistani national arrested for having received €10,000 in exchange for creating a forged student visa was registered as a “student” at the college, despite never having completed high school.

Korgan added that he had obtained a forged high school diploma from a non-existent school named “The Mardan Model & Collage [sic.] Mardan”, which had been created by another man.

With this information and as a result of further investigation, police determined that the other man was also working as an agent for the college, forging documents and registering students.

Korgan said that “many files belonging to foreign students” had been identified and seized as evidence when police searched the college on Thursday.

He added that the college’s operations had been approved by the north’s ‘education ministry’, but that it operated entirely outside the competence of the north’s higher education accreditation authority (Yodak).

The school’s students, however, were able to register with the north’s central higher education registration system (Yokas) and were thus able to obtain visas.

In addition, Korgan said police had seized the mobile phones and computers of the four people arrested, and that the company’s director had been determined to be abroad.

He added that a total of eight third country nationals employed as teachers at the college were also wanted as part of the police’s investigation into the matter.

He also said investigations would be carried out to determine the whereabouts of those registered as students at the college. News website Haber Kibris said on Thursday the whereabouts of a total of 6,000 registered students at colleges in the north were unknown.

The four arrested on Friday and the Pakistani national were all remanded in custody for three further days.