Six arrests in Larnaca gangland murder

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Cyprus police have arrested six men in connection with the gang-related murder of 53-year-old Andreas Evangelou, who was gunned down outside his Larnaca home in December.

Police said six men were arrested during a large operation carried out in Larnaca between 11 pm and midnight Thursday.

According to police, three men aged 19, 23 and 44 were arrested on charges of premeditated murder, conspiring to commit murder, participating in a criminal organisation, and illegally possessing firearms and explosives.

A fourth man, 28, was arrested on charges of participating in a criminal organisation and destroying evidence related to the case.

The other two, both 20 years old, were arrested on suspicion of being in possession of illegal drugs and money laundering.

The operation to locate and arrest the suspects was carried out with members of the Larnaca Criminal Investigation Department, the local drug squad, and the Police Emergency Response Unit (MMAD) members.

It was completed shortly after midnight while officers also searched the homes and vehicles of the people arrested.

During the searches, evidence was collected and evaluated by Larnaca CID investigators.

Small quantities of drugs and some cash were also confiscated, police said.

Andreas Evangelou was shot by hitmen while parking his car on the ground floor of a Larnaca apartment building, where he lived at Mackenzie.

A gunman shot him six times who arrived on a moped with a second individual.

The 28 December killing is believed to be related to organised crime, as the victim was the father of a witness in a big drug case.

His son had testified in a major drug-related case just ten days before the murder.

He was also the father-in-law of Marios Georgiou, aka Mariouthkias, 34, who was gunned down in his new Lamborghini last April in the Meneou-Kiti area.

Mariouthkias was involved in a drug case in 2020, for which he had been sent to jail for two years before he turned state’s witness and was released in March.

Investigators suspect the killing could be related to a drug bust in 2019.

Evangelou’s son Yiannis, 26, and his son-in-law Georgiou had been arrested on suspicion of trafficking 1.5 kilos of cocaine.

His son was jailed for six years and also turned state’s witness.