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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-11-01

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, November 1, 2001


  • [01] Kato Pyrgos Mukhtar arrested in land scam investigation
  • [02] Government in no hurry to renew petrol price mechanism as oil prices stay low
  • [03] Waiting for an interest rate decision
  • [04] Suspected arson in underground car park
  • [05] CY announces cut price winter fares
  • [06] Nine years for Iranian drug dealers

  • [01] Kato Pyrgos Mukhtar arrested in land scam investigation

    By George Psyllides

    POLICE yesterday arrested the Mukhtar of Kato Pyrgos and a farmer from the remote area east of Polis in connection with illegal transfers of Turkish Cypriot land.

    Five suspended Land Survey Department staff are already in custody in connection with the same case.

    The Mukhtar was arrested shortly after 1pm by officers from CID headquarters who were dispatched to the area yesterday to investigate the case.

    The farmer was arrested later in the afternoon.

    It is thought that many more residents of the greater Tylliria area could be involved in the scam.

    Earlier yesterday, the CID officer heading the investigation told reporters from Kato Pyrgos that there were two police teams looking into the case.

    " One team is here and another one in Nicosia.

    " The investigation extends to all the free areas and will continue at a fast pace.

    " I promise quick results,"Tassos Panayiotou said.

    Earlier on, the CID had questioned the Mukhtar at the local police station before arresting him.

    Residents of the area said the illegal transfers had been an open secret but no official report had been filed to authorities until the case broke.

    The case first emerged in August after the Chairman of the House Refugee Committee, Aristofanis Georgiou, revealed that Turkish Cypriot land had been illegally transferred and subsequently sold.

    It returned to the limelight last week after it was leaked to the media that several land survey employees could be implicated in the case.

    Reports said the suspects in the scam, allegedly carried out between September and October last year, were residents of the area who found land belonging to people who did not possess any title deeds.

    They allegedly managed to obtain a notarised witness testimony that they had been cultivating or using the land for the past 40 years, and the land survey officials involved issued titles deeds in their names.

    The land was then sold for large amounts of money.

    In the main case under investigation, it was reported that land belonging to five Turkish Cypriots had been sold to an investment company for 972, 197.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Government in no hurry to renew petrol price mechanism as oil prices stay low

    By Jennie Matthew

    PETROL prices will not drop in accordance with the automatic pump price mechanism, which ran out yesterday, nor does the government have any immediate plans to renew it.

    The 2000 law adjusted petrol, diesel and kerosene prices in accordance with fluctuations in exchange rates and the price of barrels of crude oil, slashing government subsidies to petrol companies from 25 million to a maximum of 4 million a year.

    Given the drop in barrel prices from $26 to $20, pump prices should have fallen by two cents a litre from today.

    But the Council of Ministers yesterday shelved discussions over the future of the law, and Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis said yesterday that he had no idea when a decision would be taken.

    Instead, consumers will be forced to shell out proportionally high cost for fuel, as international prices stay low.

    " I can't change prices tomorrow anyway,"Rolandis told the Cyprus Mail , indicating that the government did not see the law as a high priority.

    He added that the future of the law, or any replacement for it, had to be discussed with the political parties before the Council of Ministers could take a firm decision.

    The mechanism had been brought in last year as government subsidies soared to keep track of rising oil prices and parliament stalled over unpopular price rise. The system was seen as a way of bypassing the lengthy political wrangles every time prices had to be raised.

    The government has said it may cap pump prices once the energy sector is liberalised in 2003, a factor likely to play a part in future discussions about the petrol price mechanism.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Waiting for an interest rate decision

    EQUITIES ended flat yesterday with trading kept in a close range pending a Central Bank meeting tomorrow to review interest rates.

    The benchmark all share index fell 0.15 points, or 0.13 per cent, to a close of 119.51, off an intra-session low of 117.84. Turnover dropped to 3.79 million on 19.1 million shares traded.

    The Central Bank's key lending rate currently stands at 6.0 per cent and has been unchanged since mid-September. "Nobody knows how the Central Bank will react, but I do expect a drop," said a broker.

    But another analyst said it could easily go the other way. The fact that the European Central Bank (ECB) kept its own intervention rate unchanged at 3.75 per cent last week could be a factor in favour of keeping rates unchanged, one said.

    The monetary policy committee and the Central Bank board meet tomorrow and an announcement is expected shortly after noon.

    Small cap investment shares topped volume ranks on day trading yesterday. Dodoni Investment saw a volume of 5.5 million shares, but ended unchanged at 5.2 cents, off a low of 5.1. CLR Investment fund was also actively traded with 1.55 million shares changing hands, rising fractionally to 13.5 cents.

    The FTSE/CySE index ended 0.1 per cent lower at 490.50, paring a weaker open of 486.28 points. The components of the 20-share index are now being reviewed for a reshuffle on December 1, bourse officials said.

    Decliners beat advancers 76 to 59 with 34 unchanged on 169 traded. There were 3,900 deals.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Suspected arson in underground car park

    POLICE are investigating a suspected arson rampage, after two mopeds and a car were totally gutted in a fire in an underground car park in Larnaca on Tuesday night.

    By the time the Fire Brigade could put out the flames, another three cars had been slightly damaged, as was part of the exterior of the Nicoletta apartment block.

    Samples of the ash were collected and dispatched to the State Laboratory for analysis yesterday morning.

    Tests should prove conclusively whether or not the incident was arson or bad luck.

    Flames completely destroyed two mopeds, worth 1,600 and owned by Panayiota Panayiotou, and a BMW belonging to Andreas Georgiou, a Larnaca electrician.

    It was 8.45pm when witnesses first noticed that Georgiou's car was on fire in the basement car park of the Nicoletta building on Phaneromeni Street.

    The flames spread quickly from the first car to three others, also owned by residents in the building.

    The full extent of the damage to the apartment block has not yet been calculated.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] CY announces cut price winter fares

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday announced its winter programme of special fares for Greece and the UK.

    Flights to Athens will begin at 70 for pensioners. Apex flights will cost 86 return for the night flight and 96 during the day. Tickets must be bought at least a week in advance.

    Regular fares to Athens will cost 106 for the night flight and 139 for a day flight.

    For Salonica, flights for pensioners will cost 90 and Apex flights will be 128.

    Flights to London will cost 135 for pensioners flying at night and 145 during the day. Regular fares will cost 173 by night and 193 by day.

    The new scheme comes into force from today until March 31 next year, but does not apply during the Christmas holiday period.

    Other bargains include flights to Northern Europe starting from 145, Budapest at 113 and Vienna and Salzburg for just 124. Special fares to Middle East destinations are also being offered, starting at around 60 for pensioners travelling to Beirut, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Damascus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Nine years for Iranian drug dealers

    THREE IRANIAN men were yesterday jailed for nine years by the Limassol Assizes court after they were found guilty of possession and trafficking of 260 grams of heroin.

    Alireza Raheri, 26, Mohamed Nambadali, 21, and 41-year-old Morteza Zalandi were arrested in November last year after a police sting operation.

    The court yesterday stressed Nambadali's young age and the fact that Raheri was the father of an under-aged child. Zalandi is also a father of two under-aged children.

    The three men were arrested after police were tipped off that people were dealing drugs on October 28 Street.

    According to reports, the men approached under cover police officers and offered to sell them heroin at 30 a gram.

    An officer, who apparently spoke Farsi, agreed to the deal and after the exchange revealed he was a policeman.

    The Iranians were arrested and the officers found three small plastic bags containing 260 grams of heroin.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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