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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-09-24

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


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Friday, September 24, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Clerides appeals to Denktash to negotiateBy Jean ChristouPRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday called on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to participate in talks without preconditions.He made the plea in his address yesterday to the UN General Assembly in New York.Clerides called on Denktash not to insist on recognition of the 'TRNC' and not to demand that negotiations be conducted between two states, instead of two communities as envisaged by the UN Security Council."I regret that Mr Denktash is reported to refuse to respond positively to any invitation to negotiate with me as representative of the Greek Cypriot community on the pretext that I am also the President of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus," Clerides said."Time and time again I have explained to him that I sit in the talks not as the President... but as the representative of the Greek Cypriot community."Clerides said it also saddened him when Denktash sought to set aside the parameters for a solution by insisting on talks between two separate states and by refusing to go to the negotiating table unless his conditions were met.Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was also insisting on preconditions as recently as September 16, Clerides said.No only that, but Ecevit wanted the economic embargo against the Turkish Cypriots lifted, Clerides said."The Prime Minister of Turkey knows that the so-called embargo is a result of a decision of the European Court... because the so-called state is not recognised," Clerides said.Clerides said his vision of a solution saw a federal partnership of the two communities with the maximum degree of internal self-administration while adhering to the principle of equal political status of the constituent parts.Such a federation as a member of the EU "will thrive at home and abroad," Clerides said, adding that security could be guaranteed by an international force with the right to intervene."I have repeatedly stated that both communities must learn from the mistakes of the past and must work hard for the creation of a common and bright future for all instead of clinging to attitudes which brought about the tragedy on the island," Clerides said."The parameters for the solution of the Cyprus problem are already in place. What is required is the political will of the two sides, and I can assure you that the Greek Cypriot side stands ready to negotiate in good faith so that a bicommunal, bizonal Federal Republic of Cyprus will finally become a reality."Clerides also repeated the Greek Cypriot side's invitation to the Turkish Cypriot community to join the island's EU accession process, which he said would benefit both communities equally.He passed on the sympathy of the people of Cyprus for the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey."Despite the political problems that exist between our respective states, the magnitude of the suffering of the Turkish people has deeply moved the people of Cyprus," he said.Congratulating the countries, especially Greece, which rushed to help Turkey, Clerides also praised Turkey for reciprocating when an earthquake hit Athens a short time later."I wish to salute the new spirit of friendship which has started to emerge between the two countries," Clerides said.
  • [02] Political will needed over Cyprus problem: Clerides
  • [03] Protaras aquarium offers to buy seal
  • [04] Will the Market reopen on Monday?
  • [05] Employers up in arms over staff disruption caused by Nikiforos
  • [06] Defence Minister calls investigation into weapons leaks
  • [07] Koshis dismisses pub owners' appeal for more women
  • [08] Employers lash out at union stance on CoLA
  • [09] Swimming to save the seas
  • [10] Hand-grenade suspect turns himself in
  • [11] British tourists held over fake notes

  • [01] Clerides appeals to Denktash to negotiateBy Jean ChristouPRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday called on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to participate in talks without preconditions.He made the plea in his address yesterday to the UN General Assembly in New York.Clerides called on Denktash not to insist on recognition of the 'TRNC' and not to demand that negotiations be conducted between two states, instead of two communities as envisaged by the UN Security Council."I regret that Mr Denktash is reported to refuse to respond positively to any invitation to negotiate with me as representative of the Greek Cypriot community on the pretext that I am also the President of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus," Clerides said."Time and time again I have explained to him that I sit in the talks not as the President... but as the representative of the Greek Cypriot community."Clerides said it also saddened him when Denktash sought to set aside the parameters for a solution by insisting on talks between two separate states and by refusing to go to the negotiating table unless his conditions were met.Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was also insisting on preconditions as recently as September 16, Clerides said.No only that, but Ecevit wanted the economic embargo against the Turkish Cypriots lifted, Clerides said."The Prime Minister of Turkey knows that the so-called embargo is a result of a decision of the European Court... because the so-called state is not recognised," Clerides said.Clerides said his vision of a solution saw a federal partnership of the two communities with the maximum degree of internal self-administration while adhering to the principle of equal political status of the constituent parts.Such a federation as a member of the EU "will thrive at home and abroad," Clerides said, adding that security could be guaranteed by an international force with the right to intervene."I have repeatedly stated that both communities must learn from the mistakes of the past and must work hard for the creation of a common and bright future for all instead of clinging to attitudes which brought about the tragedy on the island," Clerides said."The parameters for the solution of the Cyprus problem are already in place. What is required is the political will of the two sides, and I can assure you that the Greek Cypriot side stands ready to negotiate in good faith so that a bicommunal, bizonal Federal Republic of Cyprus will finally become a reality."Clerides also repeated the Greek Cypriot side's invitation to the Turkish Cypriot community to join the island's EU accession process, which he said would benefit both communities equally.He passed on the sympathy of the people of Cyprus for the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey."Despite the political problems that exist between our respective states, the magnitude of the suffering of the Turkish people has deeply moved the people of Cyprus," he said.Congratulating the countries, especially Greece, which rushed to help Turkey, Clerides also praised Turkey for reciprocating when an earthquake hit Athens a short time later."I wish to salute the new spirit of friendship which has started to emerge between the two countries," Clerides said.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [02] Political will needed over Cyprus problem: Clerides

    By Martin Hellicar

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday challenged the international community to find a way to get Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to settlement talks.

    "Let the international community decide what to do with Mr Denktash to bring him to the negotiating table, because I will be sitting there waiting, " Clerides told a press conference after his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

    A settlement could be achieved before the end of his term of office in 2003, given the "political will," Clerides said.

    In his Assembly speech, Clerides said the Cyprus problem "can and will be solved if the international community demands its solution with the necessary determination."

    He appealed to Denktash to abandon his demand that his break-away 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' be recognised, and return to settlement talks without preconditions.

    The Turkish UN delegation snubbed Clerides's speech, vacating their seats while he spoke.

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is widely expected to invite Clerides and Denktash soon to resume peace talks abandoned nearly two years ago.

    Cyprus state television (CyBC) reported last night that the invitation would be to talks at West Point, New York, on October 15. A second round of talks would be held in late November and the whole process would be completed by the end of the year, CyBC reported.

    Clerides described the proposed talks as "the most ambitious initiative ever undertaken" to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, also addressing the Assembly yesterday, echoed Clerides's plea to the Turkish Cypriot side, urging them to "grab this historic opportunity" to end the division in Cyprus.

    "Let us show the world and our children that we can live together in peace and harmony with respect to human rights and democratic principles," Papandreou said.

    He extolled the virtues of the federal settlement proposed by the UN. "We are striving to see Cyprus as a federal state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship; a united, demilitarised, independent country with its territorial integrity safe from encroachments and no foreign troops on its soil," Papandreou said.

    Denktash is pushing for Cyprus to be turned into a confederation.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [03] Protaras aquarium offers to buy seal

    Anthony O. Miller and George Psyllides

    THE OCEAN Aquarium in Protaras yesterday said it would try to buy Ayia Napa Marine Park's (ANMP) sole surviving sea lion, freeing it from the neglect it was found in this week by the Cyprus Mailand state veterinarians.

    The seal was one of two the ANMP acquired. It was found starving beside a stagnant pool of filthy water to swim in, and only a deflated soccer ball and dirty sponge for companionship.

    It had been abandoned and effectively was being allowed to starve. The seal had been surviving on food that tourists tossed over the Marine Park's chain-link fence. Several of these tourists tipped the Mailto the animal's plight.

    "Of course we're interested in buying it. We're 99.0 per cent sure we can arrange something for that," Ocean Aquarium's manager Panayiotis Hadjipetrou told the Cyprus Mailyesterday.

    "It's a pity to see such an animal being kept in such conditions," Hadjipetrou said. He said he hoped his planned meeting last night with ANMP owner Kikis Constantinou would result in the seal's purchase "as soon as possible."

    Ocean Aquarium's interest in buying the seal was boosted yesterday by Dr Klitos Andreou, animal protection officer at the Department of Veterinary Service.

    "They have in mind a programme to take care of the animal... and they can manage to do this," Andreou said of Ocean Aquarium.

    If the sale succeeds, "in the coming days I'll tell them how to make alterations in order to keep a sea lion in a pool. And next week, I'll visit the place and instruct them on how to construct a new pool to keep the sea lion in," Andreou said.

    Earlier yesterday, Dr Loizos Hadjizinonos, a senior state veterinary officer, ordered two vets from the Ormidia office to visit the Marine Park and evaluate the seal's living conditions and state of health. They were to report back to him.

    Hadjizinonos said the Veterinary Services Department had the right to seize the sea lion from Ayia Napa Marine Park, but would not take the required legal steps, in deference to its owner.

    Instead -- and before Dr Andreou stepped up -- Hadjizinonos planned to let the Marine Park's owner, Kikis Constantinou, keep the seal for a week, so it could be sold to new owners in Egypt.

    One of the two vets sent yesterday to investigate ANMP, Dr Charalambous Theodorou, had inspected the facility in early September, following similar tourist complaints about the Marine Park's neglect of both the seals then in captivity there.

    One of the tourists who had complained to the Veterinary Services Department earlier this month, yesterday told the Cyprus Mailthat both of ANMP's two sea lions were living in similar squalid, neglected conditions, without adequate food back then.

    Mere days after Theodorou made his earlier visit to ANMP, one of the two seals died, he said. The death was the fifth for sea creatures at ANMP; between 1994 and 1998, all four of ANMP's Black Sea Bottlenosed Dolphins also died.

    The Cyprus Ecological Movement yesterday charged in a news release that, despite its continuous protests about "the unacceptable conditions which prevail at the ANMP, the authorities have not taken any measures."

    This not only led to the first seal's death, the statement said, but it contributed to the deaths of the four dolphins, which "could not take the ill treatment and closure, which was illegally and abusively imposed" on the sea creatures.

    The Ecological Movement noted it has sued the government for granting an import permit for four new dolphins. The first hearing is set for the November 3.

    Indeed, the Council of Ministers earlier this year granted the Marine Park permission to import four more dolphins -- in breach of several treaties Cyprus is a party to.

    Those agreements include the 1973 UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the United Nations 1982 Berne Convention, and the European Union's 1996 Council Regulation #338/97.

    The Ecological Movement pledged to continue trying to close down the ANMP dolphinarium, which it called "a shame and an offence to Cyprus."

    But it asked, "when will the Attorney-general intervene to find those responsible" for the deaths of the dolphins and the seals, adding that without some action, "death awaits the last seal, which remains locked up" in the ANMP.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [04] Will the Market reopen on Monday?

    By Hamza Hendawi

    THE SCHEDULED Monday reopening of the Cyprus Stock Exchange appeared far from certain yesterday, four days before the end of a three-week break granted by the bourse's council to allow brokerages to tackle delays in processing transactions.

    Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said a final decision on whether to reopen the market would be taken by the Cyprus Stock Exchange when it meets on Sunday. "But we in the government will monitor the situation closely," said Rolandis, currently standing in for Finance Minister Takis Klerides, out of the island on official business.

    Rolandis spoke to the Cyprus Mailfollowing a meeting he had yesterday with representatives from the Cyprus Stock Exchange Council, the Securities and Equities Commission, the market's regulatory body, and Finance Ministry officials.

    The problem, he said, was that a large number of transactions had not been cleared in preparation for Monday's reopening.

    "The position of the government is that stock exchanges don't close, just like banks don't close," Rolandis said. "You cannot trap investors in a stock exchange," he added.

    "In other words, by closing a stock exchange, you simply undermine it. The position of the government is that we should open it." The final decision, however, rested with the exchange's council, he said. "That is the law."

    Rolandis said the market's capitalisation stood at more than 8 billion, of which less than 7 billion represented the value of listed companies. "One realises what this means to the Cyprus economy whose size (gross domestic product, which is the total value of products and services) is less than 5 billion," Rolandis said.

    "The main worry is what will happen to people who will have no share certificates when the market reopens on Monday and will not be able to sell."

    According to press reports published this week, at least eight stockbroking firms could be barred from the floor on Monday because they have been unable to clear up their pendings in time.

    Roughly half the registered 21 brokerages, according to some brokers, are encountering delays in processing work and the remaining had difficulties to a less serious degree.

    One newspaper report on Wednesday said that more than 60,000 transactions were still pending from an initial number of about 80,000.

    The stock exchange has said it would not agree to an extension of the closure, or close down again to rectify the problem. Already the market was closed for two days in late July and again for a week last month to allow brokerages to clear the backlog of backroom administrative work.

    Share prices have appreciated by 360 per cent so far this year amid exceptionally high volumes of trade, largely caused by new investors attracted to the market by the prospect of quick profit. An automated trading system introduced in May has also compounded the problem, raising the average number of daily transactions from 500 to 4,000.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [05] Employers up in arms over staff disruption caused by Nikiforos

    By Jean Christou

    EMPLOYERS are up in arms over the government's decision to bring forward the date of the Nikiforos military exercises to October 2.

    The annual exercises are usually held towards the end of the month.

    The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek), which represents over 20 luxury hotels, said yesterday the change in date for Nikiforos couldn't have come at a worse time for the tourist industry.

    A statement from the association said the exercises coming so unexpectedly has given employers no chance to work out staff schedules.

    Stek's Aris Moussoulides said he knew of at least one hotel where some 15 members of staff, mostly from the service operation, had received call-up papers for October 2.

    Not only is October a month of increased tourist arrivals, but this year the rescheduled military exercise coincides with the Maritime Cyprus international conference, which opens in Limassol on October 3.

    "The hotels are full," said Moussoulides. "This is very serious for us."

    Stek feels the disruption to work rotas could negatively affect hotels' services to tourists, which they say will damage the industry.

    Moussoulides said although the Ministry had said it was prepared to be flexible when it came to staff problems, he said it was the suddenness of the decision to change the dates which had led to the problems, not the fact that staff would have to participate. He said employers realised that taking part in Nikiforos was a national obligation.

    But he said if employers had been given earlier notice of the exercise, they could have planned their staff schedules.

    "You don't change plans for a major military exercise in the space of a week without consulting anyone," he said. "Practically every sector has been affected."

    Stek has written to the Defence Ministry asking them to try to hold the exercises either between November and January or between February and May.

    A spokesman at the Employers and Industrialists Federation (Oev) told the Cyprus Mailthey had received numerous complaints about the decision from employers in several sectors.

    "The change in dates has caused some problems and we are trying to minimise the effects," the spokesman said.

    He said Oev was still gathering information on the impact of the change of date on its members. A relatively high number are affected, he said.

    The spokesman said the Defence Ministry had told Oev unofficially the decision had been taken at the highest level, at the recent meeting in Athens between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and President Glafcos Clerides, and that there was nothing the Ministry could do about it.

    "That's why we are being tolerant," the spokesman said. "We don't want to make too much noise, but we want to make our point."

    Sources said the exercises had been brought forward so they would not coincide with a possible resumption of negotiations on the Cyprus problem mooted for New York at the end of the month.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [06] Defence Minister calls investigation into weapons leaks

    DEFENCE Minister Socrates Hasikos yesterday called an investigation into leaks to the media about impending arrivals of new hi-tech weapons systems for the National Guard.

    The minister has also ordered an internal investigation on the matter.

    The investigation comes after Machiyesterday reported that the National Guard would in the coming days be receiving an unspecified number of TOR-M1 missile systems, coming from the 21 ordered by Greece.

    The paper also reported that the National Guard's tank arsenal was likely to be reinforced both by the American-made M48A5 MOLF, and by the well- known Russian-made T-80.

    All American weapons systems have been withdrawn from the government- controlled side (from the Greek contingent Eldyk) following a US Congress investigation into the issue.

    Machi

    also claims the National Guard will be buying from Russia an additional 43 BMP-3 armoured vehicles, two 155 mm artillery batteries, and 12 long-range multiple rocket launching systems.

    The defence ministry's decision to investigate the matter is in no way aimed at press freedom, a Defence Ministry press release said yesterday. Rather it adheres to the ministry's policy of protecting important information vital to national security and defence.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [07] Koshis dismisses pub owners' appeal for more women

    By Martin Hellicar

    PUB OWNERS seeking a reprieve from a government clampdown on foreign waitresses were yesterday given short shrift by Justice Minister Nicos Koshis.

    Koshis insisted the government would stick to its guns on a package of measures aimed at stamping out prostitution and exploitation of foreign women in pubs and cabarets on the island. The measures also aim to curb the gangland violence associated with the cabaret circuit.

    Members of the Pub Owners Association met with Koshis yesterday to ask for a review of a government decision to cut the number of foreign waitresses permitted per pub from two to one.

    But Koshis was adamant after the meeting: "Our position is clear, we took this decision after much consideration... we, as a ministry, insist on this position."

    Girls hired as waitresses to serve tables in bars were routinely 'sold' to customers for sex, the minister complained. "If problems had not been created then we could have been more flexible, but as these places (pubs) do create problems, as do cabarets, we have to end this illegality," he said.

    The state anti-prostitution package imposes a strict limit on the number of foreign women allowed to work at cabarets -- often little more than glorified strip joints. The relevant ministerial committee also wants a moratorium on licences for new cabarets and to force the clubs to close an hour earlier, at 3.30am.

    Koshis said yesterday that Attorney-general Alecos Markides was drawing up new, tougher, legislation covering cabarets and pubs. The bill would be tabled before the cabinet soon, he said.

    Doros Stylianou, of the Pub Owners Association, said after the meeting with Koshis that pub waitresses and cabaret artistes should not be put in the same bracket. If there were any waitresses being forced into prostitution then action should be taken against the offending establishments, he said.

    He insisted pub owners wanted to be allowed an extra foreign waitress and said the minister had shown "understanding" on the issue, though he conceded that Koshis had made "no promises".

    Limassol Cabaret owners and their dancing girls have already staged a demonstration against the clampdown in the town's notorious Heroes' Square.

    Police believe cabarets are a front for prostitution, drugs and gambling rackets. Incidents of gangland violence in Limassol and elsewhere have been blamed on a turf war between underworld clans vying for control of the lucrative illicit trade.

    In the latest case, on September 5, Limassol cabaret owner Sotiris Athinis survived the third attempt on his life, when an anti-tank missile struck the entrance of his establishment, missing him by inches.

    Cabaret owners feel their establishments are being unfairly labelled as dens of iniquity. The Limassol Association of Cabaret Owners has already lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court to halt the government measures, claiming the state would be liable for the loss of earnings they would suffer should the restrictions come into force.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [08] Employers lash out at union stance on CoLA

    By Athena Karsera

    EMPLOYERS associations yesterday accused the left-wing Peo union of "throwing oil onto the fire" by threatening to take action against the government's new position on the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA).

    Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas on Wednesday said the government would include future rises in VAT in its calculations for CoLA, but that rises in consumer taxes would be left out.

    Unions Peo and Deok and employers associations are, for different reasons, unhappy with the government stance. Sek and Pasidy trade unions have welcomed the announcement.

    Peo will this morning be holding an emergency general meeting to discuss possible industrial action against the new CoLA policy.

    The union's secretary-general Pambis Kiritsis yesterday said the government stance was "extremist" and represented a threat to the very existence of CoLA -- a top-up allowance added to monthly wages.

    But Keve president Vassilis Rologis said differences in opinion should be solved through dialogue when the Finance Minister and President Glafcos Clerides returned from abroad.

    He accused Kiritsis of "pouring oil onto the fire", and said Peo's threat to resort to industrial action would have the opposite effect to the union's aims.

    Kiritsis fears the exclusion of consumer taxes from CoLA is only a first step.

    "The main problem with this issue is that it opens a window for the disappearance of CoLA in its current form. From the moment we accept that this institution stops paying for the entire loss that workers suffer when prices rise, then it is no longer effective," the union leader said.

    Kiritsis said the decision would undermine CoLA as an institution and would possibly allow future reductions to the allowance. "It's a small crack but this could grow into a large hole." He said Peo was in favour of modernising CoLA, "but not at the workers' expense."

    In a statement issued yesterday, Deok said its members wanted "a pure CoLA without cuts or deductions."

    Deok said that the workers had been "neither surprised nor impressed" by the government's announcement, "because they have realised the financial and social failings of the country and the plummeting standard of living for workers."

    Right-wing Sek's general-secretary Demetris Kittenis yesterday said his union considered the matter closed.

    "This is no longer a current issue... We (the unions) agreed that to ensure the institution's continuation and to overcome the deadlock at the time, we needed to take some action that would be as painless as possible."

    He said Peo had put forward the idea that money could be saved if the Allowance was given once a year as opposed to every six months as is current practice.

    "Sek and Pasidy (the public servants' union) preferred to make a start by accepting the government proposal. We think it is better for the workers and not as painful an action."

    Kittenis said that, apart from the duty on cigarettes, consumer taxes had not increased for the last three years.

    It was the cigarette duty rise that sparked the CoLA debate, with the government warning that unless the rise was excluded the index risked spiralling out of control.

    Employers, meanwhile, are unhappy that the government intends to include VAT rises in CoLA.

    The government is committed to a staged rise in VAT over the next four years in order to bring it into line with European Union levels ahead of accession. Finance Minister Takis Klerides is shortly expected to call on the House to approve an initial two per cent rise.

    Andreas Pittas, the president of the Employers and Industrialists Federation (Oev), said yesterday the decision would cost employers dearly. "Essentially the issue is one of numbers and costs. The inclusion in CoLA of the two per cent rise in VAT will cost employers at least 12 to 13 million."

    The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) on Wednesday estimated the cost at 20 million.

    Pittas said Oev would only accept the government's decision provided employers were some form of compensation.

    Pittas suggested employers could be compensated through a cut in petrol and electricity prices, or through some form of tax relief.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [09] Swimming to save the seas

    A SOLDIER serving with British Forces in Cyprus yesterday began swimming from Akrotiri to Dhekelia in an effort to raise money for Cymepa, the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association.

    Briton Ted Martin, who is of Cypriot descent, is head of the Dhekelia base's Adventure Training course, and will today continue swimming the 80 kilometre distance to collect funds for setting up a Cymepa web site.

    Martin began the 36-hour swim at 7am yesterday.

    He has taken part in international triathlons and tetrathlons and in 1995 won the title of Veteran World Champion.

    Martin has been a member of the British Armed Forces water polo and handball teams and, at one time, held the Armed Forces record in butterfly swimming.

    About ten years ago, he swam from Belize's coral reef to its shore, twice, for the Aubudon Society for Reef Preservation Fund.

    He was born in Limassol in July 1951 and moved to Britain in 1959. He joined the British Armed Forces in 1967 and has served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Belize, Hong Kong, Canada, Brunei, Italy, Gibraltar and Ascension Island.

    Martin, whose wife July also lives in Cyprus, has strong ties to the island. His sister Evi Yiallouri lives in Nicosia while his grandparents are in Limassol.

    Cymepa is a charitable institution which was established in 1992.

    Its goal is to protect Cyprus' marine environment through training and informing the public.

    Donations to Cymepa can be made through the Bank of Cyprus at account number 0330-01-085501, the Popular Bank at 020-21-073025 and through the Hellenic Bank at 241-01-183339-01.

    [10] Hand-grenade suspect turns himself in

    A MAN suspected of involvement in the theft of National Guard hand-grenades was remanded in custody yesterday after ending a one month police search by turning himself in.

    Demetris Polycarpou Sakkos, 27, was remanded for five days after evading capture at his home in the Sovereign Base Area at Trachoni near Limassol.

    He turned himself into police late on Wednesday night and was arrested immediately.

    Requesting the remand, the investigating officer yesterday told Limassol district court that Sakkos was suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime, illegal possession of explosives and refusing to make statements to the police when called.

    The officer said that two of the civilians and National Guardsmen held in connection to the summer theft of 42 hand-grenades from four National Guard stock rooms, had admitted selling a number of the explosives to Sakkos.

    He said Stavros Stavrou, 22, and Tassos Chistodoulou, 24, told police they had sold six hand-grenades and 10 grams of marijuana to Sakkos on one occasion.

    Police informants, the officer continued, also confirmed that two unnamed men had sold Sakkos one hand-grenade at another time.

    Sakkos refused to make a statement while police said they were expecting to take at least another 20 testimonies in connection with the investigation.

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    Friday, September 24, 1999

    [11] British tourists held over fake notes

    A COMPANY director and a civil servant from Britain were yesterday hauled up before a local court on suspicion of circulating forged Sterling notes.

    Police told the court that tourists Diane Margaret Jones, 32, and Allan William Smith, 37, had been "nabbed" by an eagle-eyed Ayia Napa store owner.

    Case investigator Haris Paraskeva said Jones, a civil servant, and Smith, who runs a company in England, entered the shop in the resort on Wednesday night and asked to change five 10 Sterling notes. The shopkeeper noticed that all five notes bore the same serial number and alerted police, the Famagusta District court, convening in Larnaca, heard.

    Police arrested the two tourists and carried out a search of their Ayia Napa holiday flat. Bundles of 10 and 20 sterling notes, with a total face value of over 1,400 Sterling, were found in the apartment, according to police.

    Paraskeva told the court that many of the notes carried the same serial number.

    The court remanded Jones and Smith in custody for eight days to allow police time to investigate suspected possession and circulation of forged bank notes.

    Paraskeva told the court police had reason to believe the two suspects could be members of an international forgery ring. Since they have been on the island since September 17, it was likely the tourists had tried to palm off more counterfeit bills, the investigator said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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