Members of the police drug squad Ykan followed for over 24 hours the two men who were arrested and remanded for the largest cache of weapons and explosives ever found in Cyprus.

The bust occurred on Monday when officers found guns and explosives at a cemetery in Oroklini, some being buried in a grave. The operation saw the discovery of a shotgun, 500 rounds of ammunition in 10 packs of 50 and a pistol.

Subsequently, a grave within the cemetery was searched, in which military-grade firearms were found, including a rocket launcher with three projectiles, several cartridges, and improvised explosive devices, one of which was connected to a mobile phone and ready to use.

Two men, aged 46 and 35, were arrested in the operation and remanded for eight days.

According to police spokesperson Christos Andreou, Ykan members started following the 46-year-old man who was first arrested on Sunday morning.

“On that day, the suspect was observed driving to a local cemetery, followed by another vehicle shortly thereafter,” Andreou said on Wednesday. “From then on, Ykan members never let him out of sight.”

Andreou added that the tipoff was prompted by information received by police in the past months and that the 46-year-old was already on the force’s radar for drug-related suspicions.

“On Sunday, however, the cemetery was crowded due to several memorial services taking places. The suspect and the man driving the other vehicle [the 35-year-old man] both left the premises,” the police spokesperson said.

“At 12.08pm on Monday, the 46-year-old returned to the cemetery. Working at his father’s funeral home, he was seen approaching a specific grave wearing blue surgical gloves, examining it, and retrieving a sports bag. In that moment, Ykan officers intervened and proceeded with the arrest.”

Andreou added that the 35-year-old driving nearby was acting as the lookout for the other suspect. He was also immediately stopped and arrested.

“The initial information in our possession indicated the presence of weapons at the specific location,” Andreou said.

“Once the weapons were discovered, officers of the bomb squad were immediately dispatched, due to the presence of explosive materials. Further investigation will take place in the upcoming days.”

The 35-year-old claimed he was at the cemetery to meet a friend to whom he owed money.

During the two suspects’ appearance in court, it was revealed that one of the explosive devices was connected to a mobile phone with a SIM card, potentially allowing remote detonation.

Andreou said that the discovered weapons are suspected to be linked to planned criminal attacks against specific individuals.

Investigations are also underway at the Central Prisons,” he said. “Due to the type and quantity of the weapons found, it is certain that criminal activities have been prevented.”

The police are currently gathering statements from various people, reviewing surveillance footage, and seeking court orders to access the suspects’ telecommunications data to uncover their contacts and the identities behind the weapon cache.

Authorities are also investigating the origin of the weapons and their intended recipients, including taking statements from members of National Guard.