Israeli property developer Simon Mistriel Aykut was arrested on Friday while attempting to cross from the north to the Republic.

Aykut is the founder of the Afik Group, which has carried out various construction projects in Trikomo, many of which are believed to have been carried out on Greek Cypriot land.

He appeared in court on Saturday and was remanded in custody for five days.

His arrest was confirmed by the Afik Group, which said on Saturday that “the founding president of the Caesar Project within the Afik Group was arrested by the Paralimni police as a result of a tip off”.

The Afik Group had made headlines a year ago when newspaper Politis reported that a law firm co-founded by then Cyprus Bar Association chairman Christos Clerides was representing Afik Group chief executive officer Afik Yaacov.

A government source had told the Cyprus Mail at the time that they were “carefully following” the case.

Yaacov had reportedly registered a company named Danilen Ltd in Nicosia at the same address as Clerides’ law firm, with Politis saying the alleged link between the law firm and Yaacov emerged as part of the bar association’s obligation to oversee all lawyers and their compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

The law firm said at the time that reports of assisting people and facilitating where it comes to matters related to the north, or any connection of the firm with illegal activities “are false and a result of sinister and ulterior motives”.