Four persons, aged 30 to 64, were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday, and the Police confiscated 370 grams of heroin, in the Protaras – Ayia Napa area, on the east. The 30-year-old is believed to be the mastermind of the drug operation. All four suspects were remanded in custody for eight days by the Famagusta District Court.
Papacostas said the suspects were preparing to move to the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus to organise drug trafficking from there.
He noted that the Police have already cracked down on three other gangs, based in the Turkish occupied areas which were selling drugs in the government controlled areas of the Republic.
Papacostas said the Police were concerned that drug dealers had changed their methods and were now using elderly people to push drugs.
After a tip off, the Police stopped a vehicle in the Protaras – Ayia Napa area with a 30-year-old and a 64-year-old, both from villages of the free area of Famagusta. The 30-year-old escaped arrest, having thrown out of the car a bag containing 250 grams of heroin. The 64-year-old was arrested, having thrown precision scales out the car window.
The 30-year-old and the 35-year-old woman he was living with were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday at their home in Larnaca, where Police found 120 grams of brown powder, believed to be heroin. The 35-year-old woman was arrested on the grounds of a previous report that she had accompanied the 30-year-old to the Turkish occupied areas to pick up a quantity of drugs. They are believed to have subsequently handed the heroin to a 59-year-old, who was also arrested, since there were reports that he transported the drugs to the government controlled areas of the Republic.
”We have strong evidence against all those involved. We hope that we will at last be able to take them to court and have them punished in an exemplary manner,” Papacostas said, adding that unfortunately there cannot be any control over the Turkish occupied areas because the legal government of the Republic is prevented from exercising its jurisdiction in these areas by the continuous presence of the Turkish military, which occupies Cyprus’ northern part.
He noted that recent cases prove that the ceasefire line is creating illegal immigration and drug trafficking problems, adding that the Police are closely watching certain areas.
Financial Mirror, September 24, 2008