Police probe suspected gangland murder

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Police are investigating a suspected gangland murder after Christos Charilaou, 39, was killed outside his house in Parekklisia, Limassol.

Limassol police have turned their attention to possible illegal activities behind the murder, as the victim was known to the police for his involvement in several drug cases.

Officers received information at about 11.45 pm on Saturday that shots had been fired outside a home in the Limassol village.

Dispatched police officers found Charilaou dead outside his home.

Charilaou was shot as he exited his car after returning to bring food for the family.

His wife and two young children were in the house at the time of the attack.

Reportedly, Charilaou had been shot three times from a 20 to 30-metre distance, with the shooter believed to have been hiding behind a carob tree.

Charilaou suffered wounds to the arms, legs and chest, with medical examiners saying that the shot to the chest caused his death.

The mafia-style execution awakened memories of the gangland murder of Andros Rodotheou, who was shot dead on April 12, 2017, by a man believed to be a professional assassin.

Rodotheou was shot from a distance while visiting a friend in Gerasa, Limassol.

Phileleftheros daily quotes police sources saying officers suspect the shooter could be the same person.

No shell casings were found at the scene of Charilaou’s murder, as in the killing of Rodotheou.

Police believe the hitman was a professional, placing a special net on the gun to collect casings as the gun fired.

The same police sources said the perpetrator appeared aware of the victim’s movements.

Investigators are looking at CCTV footage to identify the route of the executioner, while the ballistics examination will clarify the type of weapon used.

The victim was a father of two underaged children and was well-known to the authorities.

Earlier in May, he was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence by the Limassol District Court for a 2019 case involving the possession of a cannabis plant and 17 grams of weed.

In her statement to police, the victim’s wife expressed ignorance over the motive behind her husband’s murder but said that he had confided in her that he believed he was being watched.