North Cyprus News | Haven for Criminals?

North Cyprus News | Haven for Criminals?Without Prejudice

North Cyprus News | Haven for Criminals?

Those who have suffered at the hands of rogue builders, landowners and others may think that these are the only rogues you have been rubbing shoulders with. Not so, we all know of people like Gary Robb the infamous Robb(er) of Aga Development and his partners in that particular scam, all home grown in north Cyprus. Some of his ‘enforcers’ are still here and show their nasty faces from time to time. Robb, who claims victim status through his Ethiopian born wife. Who can forget the performance she gave at a meeting at the Pia Bella, I swear two more minutes and there would have been a whip round for her.

However it would seem that there has also been an influx of other villains, some hiding from justice elsewhere and some just hiding it would seem. The next time you are sitting in a bar on the Lapta strip, have a care. You may be sitting next to someone famous for all the wrong reasons

‘Brits turn Cyprus into Costa del Crime

British crime bosses have turned Northern Cyprus into the new Costa del Crime.

They have tried to take over a corner of the sunshine island to create a criminal enclave inside the Turkish Republic, which has no extradition treaties with the outside world.

On a five-mile stretch of the coast between the port of Kyrenia and the town of Lapta, they live a champagne lifestyle behind the gates of their luxury homes – similar to that once enjoyed by British crooks in the Spanish costas.

Less than a mile from the centre of Lapta is the secluded £2million villa of Dogan Arif, godfather of the Arif gangland family who terrorised South London with their drug trafficking operation in the Eighties.

Arif – who was jailed for seven years in 1990 for conspiring to supply £8million worth of cannabis – has minders who are constantly armed. A mile away is the imposing villa of Asil Nadir, the Polly Peck tycoon who fled Britain in 1993 facing 66 fraud and theft charges totalling £30 million. He is surrounded by armed guards for fear of kidnap but still runs a huge business empire from his Lapta base.

Kenneth Noye also fled to the island after stabbing a man to death in a road rage attack on the M25 in 1996, but later moved to Spain from where he was extradited and jailed for life. His business interests in Northern Cyprus are now said to be run by his son Kevin.

Brian Wright, the mastermind behind a gang which flooded Britain with £500million worth of cocaine, enjoyed a lavish lifestyle in Northern Cyprus until he fled a month ago after a tip-off that police were closing in. He is now believed to be in the Middle East.

Another drug baron, Raymond Spencer, 50, was recently deported to mainland Turkey, extradited to the UK and jailed for 13 years at York Crown Court on a smuggling charge. But it is believed at least 20 other major British crooks are still living in the area. Local police are working with British officers to deport them to mainland Turkey to be extradited as Spencer was.

All British citizens hoping to buy homes in Northern Cyprus are now vetted for criminal records. Julia Price, British Residents’ Association chairman in Northern Cyprus, said: ‘This is a beautiful place and the last thing it needs is a reputation as a safe haven for criminals.”

‘We are prepared to point out known criminals to the authorities if they come to our attention.’

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