Wrong Number: Cyprus Cop Mistakenly Calls Hitman

NICOSIA — Cyprus police were investigating Aug. 8 how an officer mistakenly telephoned a Serbian who was suspected of being the ringleader in a Mafia-linked assassination plot.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said the officer intended to call his counterpart at Interpol’s office in Serbia in March this year, but erroneously called the suspect instead.

An initial investigation found it was a genuine mistake and not corruption-related. A second probe will determine if the officer will face any disciplinary measures.

Cyprus police say the error happened after they were informed by Belgrade about a planned assassination attempt, but insisted the tip-off didn’t specifically name anyone as the intended target.

Critics claim the gaffe warned the plot ringleaders, who reworked their plans and postponed the assassination to June, when a 51-year-old Cypriot businessman was killed in the resort of Ayia Napa.

The debacle came to light after daily Phileleftheros published leaked police documents. The paper reported that Serbian Interpol had information a Cypriot prison guard may have been involved in the case.

No one has been convicted yet of the killing of Fanos Kalopsidiotis who had also been the target of an earlier assassination bid four years ago.

Kalopsidiotis was shot multiple times by two gunmen as he was dining in a busy restaurant with a policeman, the officer’s wife and their two children.

The police couple was also killed in the exchange of gunfire, but the children were unhurt. One of the gunmen was also killed, while his cohort escaped and is still being sought.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said he has asked Attorney General Petros Clerides to appoint an independent criminal investigator to look into whether corrupt police officers were in any way involved in the killing, as well as how police handled the information provided by Serbian authorities.

“The road to eliminating corruption from the police force won’t be easy and it’s expected to get more difficult as efforts intensify,” Nicolaou said in a statement.

Nicolaou backed Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou’s assertion that corruption continues to be a problem after firmly taking root in the force decades ago when previous governments hired and promoted unqualified people.



NICOSIA — Israel on Thursday dispatched two water-dropping aircraft to help battle a large wildfire that has scorched at least 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of forest in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Brothers, Basketball Focus of Antetokounmpo Family’s “Rise”

Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't watch this year's NBA Finals.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.