Pakistani food delivery driver linked to hitman

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Police said Wednesday they arrested a 27-year-old Pakistani man suspected of being an accomplice to an Azeri national who allegedly plotted an attack against Israeli businesspeople in Cyprus.

The arrest of the food delivery man working in Paphos came after officers found communication evidence linking the Azeri with the Pakistani.

Police confirmed the man’s arrest, adding that three mobile phones had been confiscated to be examined.

The Azeri was arrested on 27 September while crossing from the Turkish occupied north through a Nicosia checkpoint, where police officers intercepted him.

A gun with a silencer and some bullets were found in his possession.

Last week a Nicosia district court extended the detention of the Azeri suspect that Israel alleges a would-be assassin recruited by Iran to attack prominent Israelis on the island.

The remand order ends on Thursday, with a police official confirming to the Financial Mirror that an extension will be requested, “in the light of new evidence arising”.

Police told the Financial Mirror the Pakistani is to appear before a Nicosia court on Wednesday to be remanded in custody under tight security.

During the Azeri’s transport from the central prisons to the courts, police take draconian measures, using a convoy of vehicles, including unmarked SUVs accompanied by police on motorcycles, while everything is recorded on camera.

The arrest of the alleged Azeri hitman has turned into a diplomatic incident between Israel and its arch-foe Iran.

The office of Naftali Bennet, the Israeli prime minister, said he perceived the issue as “an act of terror… orchestrated by Iran against Israeli businesspeople living on the island”.

However, Iran has refuted any involvement in the case.

“This regime is always making such a baseless allegation against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the Iranian embassy in Nicosia said in a statement to Reuters news agency.

Israel has warned its missions around the world of a possible Iranian terror threat following the arrest of the Azeri.