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Chinese massage parlour suspect has residence permit as investor

A Chinese national being held on suspicion of human trafficking had a residence permit in Cyprus after investing close to €500,000 here – including in a massage parlour where the alleged offences were committed, Phileleftheros reported on Monday.

It said that the 48 year old man came to Cyprus in 2015 as an investor, buying a home in Paphos for €300,000 and paying another €190,000 for the premises where he set up a massage parlour.

He was given a residence permit because of his investment and has been in Cyprus since. He does not hold a Cyprus ID.

After his arrest by Limassol CID and the anti-trafficking unit, police will be briefing the Interior Minister on the case.

The suspect appeared in court last Tuesday. He is a suspect in a case of people trafficking with the aim of labour and sexual exploitation, illegally withholding personal documents and money laundering.

Six women who were working at massage parlour are to give statements as to their employment status and work conditions. They are being treated as possible human trafficking victims.

The suspect was arrested after cooperation between Cyprus and Chinese authorities over three months that included meetings at Europol at The Hague.

Another meeting is scheduled for next month so as to explore the source of  the money he invested in Cyprus. Moreover, his bank accounts in Cyprus are to be examined to see where the revenue from the massage parlour went.

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