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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-10-09
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>
Tuesday, October 9, 2001
 On alert, but not noticeablyJUSTICE Minister Nicos Koshis yesterday said Cyprus was not a terrorist target but security measures at the airports and embassies would continue.
Inspecting measures at Larnaca airport, Koshis said they were satisfactory but authorities should remain vigilant.
He stressed that people should not panic and that the island was not a terrorist target. " Nevertheless, preventive measures are warranted,"he added.
Koshis said his ministry was in constant contact with all foreign law enforcement agencies, including Interpol and Europol, with which they exchanged information and acted accordingly.
But, police presence inside the airport's main building yesterday was scarce, to say the least, apart from a single officer standing outside the exit for incoming passengers.
Outside the US embassy in Nicosia, however, police patrols continued around the clock. Officers armed with submachine-guns patrolled the embassy compound while police vehicles checked the surrounding area.
According to reports yesterday, the Sovereign Base Area (SBA) of Akrotiri, near Limassol, has seen " intense activity"in the past few days.
SBA spokesman Rob Need said it was natural that the bases, in their military capacity, would provide, if needed, any possible support to the allied operations in Afghanistan. He noted, however, that the bases were very far from the theatre of operations and providing support was only a remote possibility.
" For the time being the British bases are busy supporting the big exercise in Oman, "Need said. He said the British forces which participated in Sunday's operations in Afghanistan had already been in that area.
Need added that numerous scenarios and heavy speculation concerning the role of the SBA bases in the conflict were not true, stressing that even if something were afoot he would not comment on it since it would be a security issue.
In contrast to Akrotiri, SBA Dhekelia yesterday did not give the impression of being on full alert. Apart from two armoured vehicles parked on the side of the barracks' entrances, whose doors were wide open, it seemed that bases residents were going on with their daily lives.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001
 North backs allied air strikes, but Talat condemns 'crusade'By Jennie Matthew
UNITED behind Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot 'administration' in the north yesterday declared its support for joint US and British air strikes against Afghanistan, despite reserve from opposition politicians.
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash made it clear last month that north Cyprus was willing to co-operate with US retaliatory measures as much as possible. He confirmed last week that he had spoken to US Ambassador Donald Bandler about rumours of possible terrorist training camps in the north.
While the US Embassy raised no queries about the issue, Denktash stressed that police were ready and willing to assist should the need for any future investigation arise.
'Prime Minister' Dervis Eroglu said on Sunday that the Allied bombing campaign should be a lesson to all, citing his belief that terrorism will come to an end. Ankara is also firmly behind US attacks on Afghanistan. President Ahmet Necmet Sezer was briefed by US Vice-president Dick Cheney before the missiles were fired.
" As a responsible ally and friend, Turkey supports the United States in the struggle against terrorism,"said Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Sunday.
But Turkish Cypriot opposition politicians were less convinced. Mehmet Ali Talat leader of the Republican Turkish Party openly condemned what he termed America's " crusade-like operation" .
" This is another crime against humanity, just like the attack perpetrated against the twin towers in New York,"he said. It would do nothing to eliminate terrorism, but only provoke further attacks.
Leader of the Communal Liberation Party and former 'deputy prime minister' Mustafa Akinci agreed that the war was not sufficient to wipe out terrorist networks. Instead he pointed to the need to combat the causes of terrorism: drug trafficking, social injustices, poverty, ethnic conflict and unjust war.
The Nationalist Justice Party criticised world hypocrisy that ignored terrorism inflicted on Turkey, and pointed to the suffering of innocent Afghanis.
Among the newspapers, only Avrupablasted the bombings as " barbaric"- the rest confined themselves to facts rather than comment. Editor Shener Levent yesterday told the Cyprus Mail:" We're sorry Cyprus is among those who support American actions, but I understand why the Greek side gave them their support."In his opinion, this was because of fear in the presidency that not supporting the US would have adverse implications on a settlement to the Cyprus problem.
" Before the attacks on New York the Cyprus problem was improving,"he said, " but after this and now with the war, I'm very sorry that the Cyprus problem has been relegated to second place. We shall see how it goes in the next couple of months. Turkey might be in a very good position in this war, "he said.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001
 Investors call for action against GlobalSoft chairmanBy Melina Demetriou
INVESTORS' association PASECHA yesterday urged its members to file lawsuits against GlobalSoft and asked the government to freeze the assets of the company's chairman, Lycourgos Kyprianou, in the light of a US investigation into fraud allegations involving Kyprianou.
Responding to the PASHECHA call, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday announced that it would order an investigation into GlobalSoft's dealings and suspend the company's trading until the investigation is completed.
" The shares of Globalsoft will not trade and because this is a first of its kind incident we will convene on Wednesday and try find an alternative solution for shares of GlobalSoft to be traded,"the SEC announced yesterday. " We decided to appoint external auditors to comb through GlobalSoft's books."
PASHECHA yesterday called for Kyprianou's assets and those of other top ranking GlobalSoft officials in Cyprus to be frozen and urged investors to file lawsuits against the company for illegalities which the association claims the company has committed.
The SEC issued an announcement on Friday to tell investors about the New York investigation into Kyprianou. The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) suspended GlobalSoft's trading after the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint in the Federal District Court in New York accusing Kyprianou and his associate Roys Poyiadjis of being involved in "one of the largest financial frauds in history".
The Cyprus SEC chairman Marios Klerides said on Saturday that GlobalSoft's trading had been suspended for a day only " to give the chance to investors to be informed about the court case in New York" .
But after PASHECHA's reaction to the news yesterday, the SEC decided to maintain the bar on the company's trading and set the record straight amid growing fears that GlobalSoft and investors in the CSE have been affected by the allegations surrounding Kyprianou.
The US SEC alleges that Kyprianou and Poyiadjis, former co-chief executives at AremisSoft, a publicly traded software company in New York, defrauded investors of at least $200 million. The two men are also alleged by the SEC to have engaged in "massive insider trading during the period of reported fraud", selling millions of shares through offshore facilities. It was also claimed that AremisSoft falsified its books and records.
The SEC contended that Kyprianou and Poyiadjis had used false financial statements to inflate the price of AremisSoft stock and then sold millions of shares in AremisSoft to unwitting investors during late 2000 and early 2001.
AremisSoft has invested heavily in GlobalSoft, the largest IT company in Cyprus.
Klerides, who has described the allegations against Kyprianou as very serious, said that if found guilty he would be made to step down as chairman of GlobalSoft.
A New York federal judge on Thursday froze the assets of Poyiadjis and Kyprianou and directed them to return the proceeds of their stock sales.
Bloomberg financial news agency said that the judge, Charles Haight, would convene an October 18 hearing on the SEC charges.
Globalsoft has said the company had no commercial links with AremisSoft and that it had confidence in its chairman. AremisSoft owns about seven percent of Globalsoft.
Kyprianou lives in Nicosia while Poyiadjis is a British citizen who has a home in New York City, according to the SEC complaint.The Cyprus Mailhas been unable to reach Kyprianou for comment.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001
 Shares lose another 3.64pcSHARE prices lost 3.64 per cent in Cyprus yesterday as news of the US-led strikes on Afghanistan took a further toll on companies in the vulnerable tourism sector.
The benchmark index fell 4.04 points to a close of 106.98, with volatile tourism and hotel shares falling 5.07 and 7.22 per cent respectively. Turnover slipped to a year low of £2.9 million on 9.5 million shares traded.
New tourist bookings have slowed to a trickle since the September 11 attacks on the US with some unofficial estimates putting the decline at up to 50 per cent. Cruise operator Louis, one of whose major businesses is mini cruises to Israel and Egypt, fell 1.3 cents to a new year low of 13.3 cents.
Although the attacks occurred after the climax of the tourism season, many wealthy visitors, especially the retired, visit the island in the autumn.
Investor nervousness is the predominant factor. The climate right now is also too vulnerable for any sustained upturn," an analyst said.
Banking shares followed Friday's trend and dropped 3.72 per cent. The blue- chip FTSE/CySE index fell 4.05 per cent to 439.97 points. Decliners beat advancers 104 to 26 with 14 issues unchanged on 144 traded. There were 3, 263 deals.
The bourse reverted yesterday to its normal trading hours of 10.30am to 12pm.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001
 Woman, 58, held on heroin chargeA LEBANESE woman was remanded for eight days in Larnaca yesterday on charges of dealing in heroin, in a case which police think might have opened the lid on an international drugs trafficking gang.
Amira Mohamad Nasser El Kara, 58, was arrested early yesterday morning, just hours after she arrived in the country. Four cylindrical packets of about 280 grams of heroin were allegedly found in her possession.
El Kara is said to have told police she flew into Larnaca airport on Sunday evening on a ticket paid for by a Lebanese man. She claimed she was instructed by him to bring drugs for sale on the Cypriot market.
She booked a return flight, left the airport and checked in at a hotel. Acting on a tip-off, female officers staked out the street of her hotel and the apartment in which the alleged drug dealing was taking place.
When she left the apartment block she was arrested and police allegedlyconfiscated four packets of heroin. In a voluntary testimony, El Kara alleged that the Lebanese man who sent her to Cyprus exploited her poverty to incite her into his international drug trafficking ring.
She also claimed that another woman handed her the drugs at the airport and accompanied her to the apartment in Victor Hugo Street. Magistrate George Stylianides remanded El Kara for eight days.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001