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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-02-27

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, February 27, 1999

Bank manager's arrest grabs the headlines

THE MANAGER of a Popular Bank branch in Nicosia grabbed the headlines yesterday after his arrest on suspicion of embezzling over 1 million of his clients' money.

Machi reported that the branch manager had netted a total of 1.3 million pounds trough a "computer scam" which allowed him to cream off funds from customers' balances and divert them for his own use.

The young manager had used his ill-gotten gains to fuel his uncontrollable gambling addiction, frittering away hundreds of thousands of pounds on football, horse and dog racing bets and the state lottery.

Police were looking for the aberrant manager's possible accomplices.

Politis reported that the suspected miscreant had been put under watch by one of his superiors who became suspicious months ago. The paper also reported, with accompanying photograph, that the Limassol municipality of Trachoni had named a street after embattled Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides.

In the same story, the paper also reported that Michaelides, probed for alleged unlawful enrichment by the House watchdog committee, had told the tax office he had netted 36,000 from "envelopes" handed over by guests at his daughter's wedding.

Left-wing Haravghi reported that the watchdog committee had unearthed evidence that would "burn" the Interior Minister.

A probe into the minister's tax record had shown all sorts of shady goings- on, the paper said.

Watchdog committee members, who met behind closed doors on Thursday, were unanimous in their condemnation of the minister, the paper claimed.

Alithia focused on the Cyprus problem, reporting that US, British and UN initiatives to get President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to the negotiating table were "stagnant".

The problem was the nose-dive in Greco-Turkish relations over the Ocalan affair and the Turkish side's efforts to implicate Cyprus as a supporter of the Kurdish separatist struggle led by Ocalan, the paper suggested.

US President Bill Clinton had been planning to bring Turkish and Greek leaders together for a head-to-head meet during the April Nato conference in Washington - with the aim of breaching the impasse in relations between the two countries. But the Ocalan affair had put all such peace-making plans on hold, the paper stated.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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