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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-02

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Markides asks for concrete facts about money laundering
  • [02] Clerides to write to Annan on missing persons
  • [03] President Clerides notes defence programme will continue

  • 1405:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Markides asks for concrete facts about money laundering

    Nicosia, Mar 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Attorney General Alecos Markides called on any state that may have facts about money laundering in Cyprus to convey them to the government authorities, so they can investigate them.

    Markides was asked to comment on a US State Department report which considers Cyprus "a high risk area for money laundering", on his return to Cyprus from London yesterday.

    The Attorney General had visited the British capital where he met Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, and Britain's Representative for the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay.

    "If any country believes something is going on in Cyprus and has facts, then they should pass them over to us so that we can investigate them," Markides said.

    Markides pointed out that the Republic of Cyprus has passed "a special law on this issue, through which a special permanent task unit, comprising of representatives from the Attorney General's Office, the Police and the Customs Department, was established to look into any suspicious cases."

    In its Annual International Narcotic Control Report, the State Department moved Cyprus from a medium-high to a high priority country, in the money laundering section.

    "Despite the passing of new laws, the priority for Cyprus is being raised from Medium-High to High, reflecting the US belief that Cyprus is a high risk area for money laundering," the report notes.

    It adds that "the money laundering of most concern is not related primarily to narcotics" and believes "Cyprus today is a receiver and conduit for funds generated by an array of crimes, in particular funds controlled by Russian 'mafia' and other criminals".

    Invited by CNA yesterday to comment on the report, the Central Bank Governor, Afxentis Afxentiou, dismissed the claims, and stressed that Cyprus has taken many measures and is in the process of issuing additional and detailed directives to enforce the 1996 law.

    Afxentiou also called on anybody who may have concrete facts, including the State Department, to pass them on to the Cyprus authorities "so that we can take specific measures".

    Referring to his meetings in London, Markides said he had stressed a Cyprus solution has to ensure protection of human rights and cannot contravene a decision by the European Court of Human Rights on a case brought before it by Greek Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou.

    The European Court ruled that Turkey is responsible for violating Loizidou's right to peacefully enjoy her property in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    The Court also said Loizidou is the rightful owner of her property, which has been under Turkish occupation since 1974.

    CNA MA/RG/1997

    [02] Clerides to write to Annan on missing persons

    Nicosia, Mar 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides is expected to send a letter to UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, on the issue of persons missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    According to the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, President Clerides will call on Annan to appoint the UN representative in the Investigatory Committee, noting this is the only way substantial investigation may commence.

    The Investigatory Committee was set up in 1981 and consists of a Greek and a Turkish Cypriot representative and a third member appointed by the UN.

    The UN representative in the Committee, Paul Wurth, of the International Red Cross Society, had retired more than a year ago and has not been replaced since.

    So far the Committee has not produced evidence on any of the 1619 people listed missing soon after the Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory.

    Earlier this week, the co-ordinating council of the Committees of Relatives of Missing Persons urged President Clerides to convince the UN Secretary-General to step up efforts to solve this humanitarian issue.

    CNA RG/MA/1997

    [03] President Clerides notes defence programme will continue

    Nicosia, Mar 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides stressed his goverment's determination to carry on with efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the Cyprus issue, but noted the defence programme will continue for as long as it is needed.

    "Despite its irrevocable decision for a peaceful settlement to the Cyprus problem, the government will carry on with its defence programme and the purchase of high technology weapons, considered necessary for Cyprus' efficient defence," he said.

    President Clerides, who was speaking at a memorial service of a martyr during Cyprus' 1955-1959 struggle for independence from British colonial rule, added Cyprus will continue to build its defence for "as long as there are Turkish occupation troops in the island."

    He also stressed that the implementation of the Joint Defence Dogma, decided by the governments of Greece and Cyprus in 1993, "will continue for as long as the reasons it was designed for exist."

    President Clerides expressed determination "to reverse the fait accompli" which exists in Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation, with the support of Greece, the overseas Greeks, and foreign countries and personalities.

    He noted, however, that the government is "optimistically anticipating we will realise our targets" for a solution in Cyprus.

    CNA RG/MA/1997
    CNA, END
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