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Cypriot president's family to be probed

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Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades says no one, not even members of his own family, will be immune to investigations of alleged financial wrongdoing in the run-up to an international bailout deal.

Anastasiades made the remarks on Monday evening in reaction to reports accusing his relatives of transferring millions of euros out of the island state to London.

A Cypriot news network has published the names of 132 companies and individuals alleged to have transferred money out of the country before the government accepted a 10-billion-euro ($13 billion) bailout deal to save the cash-strapped nation from bankruptcy.

Based on the deal, wealthy depositors in Cypriot banks stand to lose up to 60 percent of their savings.

The reports said that A Loutsios & Sons Ltd, which is allegedly co-owned by Anastasiades’ son-in-law, transferred 21 million euros from Laiki Bank in the week running up to the bailout.

According to the reports, the money was then sent to London.

The president said the reports were an “attempt to defame companies or people linked to my family”.

“[This] is nothing but an attempt to distract people from the liability of those who led the country to a state of bankruptcy,” he added.

A judicial probe is set to investigate reports that family members of leading politicians used tip-offs to protect their assets before the deal was struck.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Cyprus said on Monday that it suspended its operations in Romania for a week.

According to bank spokeswoman Liana Voinescu, ten branches of the bank were suspended across Romania.

Officials said they also plan to sell the bank’s ten branches in the country.

On March 25, Nicosia inked the deal, which includes a tax of up to 40 percent on deposits of over 100,000 euros in Cyprus’ two biggest banks, with the “troika” of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Union.


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