Five Israelis suspected of Napa gang rape

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Five Israeli tourists were remanded in police custody for eight days on Monday in connection with an alleged gang rape of a young British woman in the popular holiday resort of Ayia Napa, authorities said.

The five men, aged between 19 and 20, were arrested after a 20-year-old British tourist told police she was gang raped at a hotel room in the Mediterranean island’s premier party resort.

They appeared before Paralimni district court, where they were remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of rape, police said.

Police said the suspects will be held in custody to facilitate their investigation.

The state-funded Cyprus News Agency said the arrests on Sunday followed after police secured witness testimony to support the allegation.

According to the Philenews website, the five Israelis and the Briton will undergo a medical examination.

The incident is reminiscent of a similar gang rape case in Ayia Napa four years ago when 12 Israelis were arrested for a sex attack on a teenage British girl.

They were released after the woman retracted her police statement, and she was convicted in 2020 for causing public mischief.

In 2020, she was given a four-month suspended jail sentence, but after an appeal, the conviction was quashed in 2022 when the Suprerme Court ruled it was a miscarriage of justice as she was coerced into changing her police statement.

Nearby Cyprus is a popular destination for Israeli tourists and official figures for July show they were the second largest group of visitors, 10.2% (46,402) behind the largest market, the UK with 34.8% (159,061).