February 2, 2016
One of the suspects arrested Sunday on suspicion of attempting to kidnap a four-year-old girl living in Nicosia is a notorious former mercenary, according to state television.
CyBC TV reported Tuesday night that the now 60-year-old Norwegian Espen Lee had been a mercenary operating in the Middle East with the Omega pirate group. Lee is also an international debt collector and has an international security company, Espen Lee Security, which advertises highly specialised security solutions all over the world and has its own website.
Lie and two other suspects – said to be 29, 40 – were taken into custody on Sunday at the Agios Dometios checkpoint after reports that they had come to the island to take the child from its Greek Cypriot mother. All three are Norwegian nationals, and neither of them is a relative of the child.
“The suspects are currently in court where investigators are seeking to keep them in remand while investigations are continuing”, Police Spokesperson Andreas Angelides told the Cyprus Weekly.
“The hearing may be postponed until a Norwegian translator is found. They are currently under investigation for conspiracy to commit a crime. Attempted kidnapping will most likely be added as an additional charge later.”
He added: “The child’s mother had secured an injunction from Cyprus to have the child returned to her from the father – who is Norwegian and whom she had separated from. We had received information that the trio would be arriving in Cyprus to kidnap the child, and we have sufficient evidence to back up those claims.”
Lie’s lawyer denies his client’s involvement in the case but allegedly the suspect was carrying documents which prove he was searching for the little girl.
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