Larnaca criminal court sentenced a 55-year-old man to six years in jail on Wednesday for crimes involving theft and money laundering.

The defendant was found guilty of stealing substantial amounts of money and valuable items from a residence in the tourist area of Pervolia.

The case was reported in the early morning hours of July 16, 2022 by a foreign resident of the tourist area of Pervolia. He told the Kiti Police Station that $150,000 USD and €40-50,000 in cash as well as various gold items worth a total of €82,000 were stolen from his residence.

During the course of the investigation, suspicions focused on the defendant, who was employed as a chef at the victim’s residence since early June 2022. It was found that on July 15th, 2022, the 53-year-old left the residence where he was employed at 1am, after completing his shift at 7pm. Subsequent police efforts to locate the suspect initially proved futile, but on July 16, an arrest warrant was issued for him, with his details placed on the Stop List and his photograph released to the public.

A breakthrough in the case came when on the afternoon of July 15, 2022, the suspect was identified passing through the checkpoint of Ayios Dhometios in Nicosia. Further investigations, in collaboration with the rental company of the vehicle he had used, led to the discovery of the vehicle near the Ayios Dhometios checkpoint on the evening of July 16.

Officers opened the vehicle using a spare key and found earrings and other gold items worth approximately €7,000, which were identified by the complainant’s spouse.

Police issued a European arrest warrant, and on September 2, 2022, the suspect was located and arrested in Tbilisi, Georgia. Authorities there notified the Larnaca Police Directorate, and procedures commenced for police officers to travel to Georgia to extradite him.

In May 2023, the suspect was extradited to Larnaca Airport by members of the Police, who brought evidence found in his possession at the time of his arrest in Tbilisi.

After denying the charges against him during initial proceedings on July 10, 2022, and approximately a year later, the defendant was formally sentenced on Wednesday.

Specifically, the court imposed a six-year prison sentence for theft from an employer and six years for money laundering from illegal activities, with the two sentences to be served concurrently.