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Cyprus Property Victims | Amaranta Solution Not Clear Cut

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Cyprus Property Victims – Amaranta Solution Not Clear Cut

When I read the blog from Eric Foreman on North Cyprus Free Press about the breakthrough in the Amaranta saga, my initial reaction was…at last. I realised that the situation would need a lot of careful handling, but at least it began to look as if those who had caused the situation, the Government, were at last going to put it right.

You may argue the Government were not to blame, I am sure they would too. However when you consider that even with the knowledge that Gary Robb was a known felon on the run from British justice, the Government of the day conferred on him the honour of citizenship of the TRNC. Am I naïve enough not to think their motives were not self serving, you may think what you will, I could not possibly comment.

In reality, what the Government of the TRNC should have done was deny him sanctuary and put him on the first plane back to Britain to face justice there. They did not and with the connivance of many Turkish Cypriots his path was eased and he was allowed to set up his building company Aga Development Limited using his ill gotten gains from drug dealing to finance the start.

What happened next we are all well aware of, the conning of European and Turkish Cypriots alike. Gary Robb is an equal opportunity crook, he will rob you regardless of race, colour or creed.  That he ran amock in the TRNC with impunity cannot be denied. That he was able to do so is a disgrace.

My expectations were somewhat lowered when I read the account of the same ‘breakthrough’ in Saturday’s edition of Cyprus Today:

“An amendment to the Citizenship Law allows the TRNC Council of Ministers to take land and property ownership from a third country national whose citizenship has been revoked by the cabinet and to liquidate them if the former citizen fails to sell them within 6 months. In the government property sale those with a contract to buy are given priority. Gary Robb’s Amaranta Valley development could fall into this category. The idea is that the properties would be priced and any money paid by contract holders would be deducted from that price. This law is expected to be approved in September.”

So it seems rather than a ‘slam dunk’, it still has yet to be approved by Parliament. Mr Robb has 6 months in which sell or liquidate his assets. I have seen the Contract of Sale for when he sold or attempted to sell, some of plant and equipment to Tahir Soycan some years ago. Tahir Soycan had been involved in Aga, this on the face of it looks like a legitimate transaction, being Turkish Cypriot he has little to fear.

I would hope this has already been checked out but a victim also tells me that Mr Robb has already disposed of the Company too and allegedly to the same person. I stress this is just an allegation and no evidence has been produced to corroborate this.

The situation as I see it will need careful handling, much needs to be done to get to the point of ownership and what is very clear more money will need to be spent before obtaining title and a great deal more after.

Having seen the site first hand, and many many photos, the site needs a fortune spent on it. As you would expect the effect of complete deforestation on a valley is enormous. There are many signs of subsidence, many shells will need to be knocked down and started again. Clearance of the plots will be expensive. Building costs have escalated in the period of dormancy on the site, the installation of electricity and water costs have escalated and the installation of the other infrastructure also.

You should at least factor into your decision to pursue your property one final thing. We all know the ROC had Gary Robb extradited and he was tried and imprisoned for buying, building on and selling on this site. There is a cloud hanging over Amaranta Valley, a Greek Cypriot cloud:

http://famagusta-gazette.com/briton-gary-robb-jailed-for-property-appropriation-in-cyprus-p13069-69.htm

Each purchaser has a decision to make, better to make it with all factors in play.

Pauline Read

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