Trial opens of couple accused of deposit box thefts

Friday, Jan 26 2018 09:53 AM

The trial of a couple suspected of stealing over €300,000 in cash and valuables from bank safety deposit boxes kicked off on Monday before the Larnaca criminal court.

The unemployed sign maker, Marios Loizou, 37, and his 33-year-old wife Sotira Georgiou are accused of money laundering in connection with the theft of €313,000 in cash and valuables from safety deposit boxes at Solidarity Co-op and the Bank of Cyprus between March 2015 and January 2016.

Police said the break-ins and thefts were carried out by a person who had access to the area when the branches were open.

The 37-year-old suspect was the only individual from the list of customers who had a box at both branches.

There were no security cameras in the rooms where the safety deposits were stored and customers were left alone while accessing their boxes.

According to police, when the 37-year-old suspect accessed his safety deposit, he would request to remain for twice the time other clients spent – around 20 minutes instead of 10 — and always had two bags with him.

His visits coincided with the period the thefts took place, police said.

The suspect used a special home-made tool, which left little or no sign on the outside of the boxes he opened.

Prosecutors on Monday submitted a long list of items and services the couple allegedly possessed or used without being able to explain the purchases based on their income.

Included on the list are two cars worth €10,000 and €28,000, a motorcycle worth €12,000, a collection of alcoholic drinks that cost €14,600, jewellery valued at €15,600 and a house renovation that cost €10,000.

The suspects are also charged with repaying over €40,000 in loans, acquiring a ring worth €2,000, and hiring a singer and a band for €2,500.

The charge sheet also includes four more motorcycles bought for €12,000, €2,400 on mobile phones and €2,850 for televisions.

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