Friday, April 1, 2011

But how could such a thing happen to these nice folks?

"It's difficult to have sympathy for anyone foolish or greedy enough to purchase property in a fake "state" that is a breeding ground for theft and corruption. Were these people aware that the majority of the land in the north of Cyprus is actually occupied land that legally belongs to someone else?

These British chancers have found to their cost that the "TRNC" is a kleptocracy. A gangsters' paradise where the unscrupulous prey on the greedy and the gullible, knowing that the law cannot touch them.

They should have perhaps paid more attention to the UK Foreign Office advice on buying property in the "TRNC". But I guess we're all adults and must take responsibility for our decisions. You live and learn, don't you?" - James S. from Oxford Fri, April 1st 2011 at 15:45

Link to Cyprus Mail article & comments below:
British evictions highlight north’s property perils | Nathan Morley | April 1, 2011 | CYPRUS MAIL

British evictions highlight north’s property perils
By Nathan MorleyPublished on April 1, 2011

A GROUP of elderly British expatriates living near Kyrenia are awaiting eviction from their homes after a developer mortgaged the land on which they were built and then defaulted on repayments.

It has emerged that their developer, who is understood to have fled to Turkey, handed the title deeds of ten properties to the Akfinans bank without the knowledge of the owners in order to secure a loan of £41,600.

When the saga began last year there was disbelief after the bank managed to evict two British families and then bought the property at auction for an undisclosed sum. Now, the eviction of the remaining residents is expected within days.

“There has been a media gagging order here - newspapers are not allowed to report this case, that’s why we fully expect that evictions will take place on Friday or Saturday so it does not get reported.

“It’s crooked and corrupt and we have no protection or rights, we are the ones treated like criminals” one resident told the Cyprus Mail.

Although the residents are unlikely to be afforded too much sympathy in the Republic, the saga has been described as the ‘very last nail’ in the already troubled property sector in the occupied areas.

The remaining residents allege the bank has recently launched a campaign of terror against them including forcibly changing the locks, breaking and entering and intimidation.

Richard Barclay, speaking on behalf of the residents said that: “Akfinans is trying to convert a £41,600 loan into the ownership of an entire site of ten houses, worth well over one million pounds.”

“We have suffered a great injustice,” the residents said in a joint press release, stating that ten villas were bought in 2004 for 800,000 British pounds, “We never took loans.”

The residents said the eviction had already started last week when employees from Akfinans Bank broke in and entered the house of a female resident without a warrant or court order. The manager of the local bank was photographed entering one villa through the kitchen window.

Barclay added: “The bank is trying to include the rights and houses of all the fully paid-up elderly retired people in a mortgage granted to the landowner one year after the homebuyers purchased their homes.”

Akfinans Bank made a short public statement claiming that “the houses were undergoing construction and the residents are illegally residing on the site.” The bank claimed “the foreigners broke the locks on a house and caused damage to the house.”

One former resident told the Cyprus Mail how one 88-year-old man and his 80-year old wife are their wits end due the stress of the situation. “It is a heartbreaking situation for everyone involved, I just wish we had never bought in northern Cyprus, it has been a nightmare from the beginning,” he said.

The Cyprus Mail understands the land was given to Turkish settlers by the occupation authorities in 1974.

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