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Attempts to sneak money out of South fail

1 April 2013

It has been officially confirmed that at least three people have attempted to leave South Cyprus in recent weeks carrying over 200,000 euro in cash.

People have only been allowed to take 3,000 euro out of the country from last Thursday since strict capital controls designed to prevent a bank run have been imposed. This ruling is the first of its type imposed on a member of the Eurozone since banks re-opened last week following the storm raising EU bailout.

Police, in Limassol have apparently increased security at the marina in an attempt to foil anyone who might try and sneak money off the island by boat.

There have also been concerns that those with political connections in the South were able to take their cask from Laiki and Bank of Cyprus despite being closed.

“There are some dubious capital outflows out of Cyprus as we speak,” one senior eurozone official directly involved with negotiations with Cypriot officials said before the banks had reopened. “I’m sure it’s ‘the friends’, and the friends are not only Russians.”

As it is, there were many foreign investors who took their deposits out of the banks, late last year, in anticipation of the bank crisis.

Residents of other Eurozone countries withdrew around 18% of deposits in February. Deposits have diminished by 41% since last June, said the South Cyprus’s Central Bank.

The most striking eventwas the outflow of large amounts of money from Laiki and Bank of Cyprus just before the first bailout agreement was signed on March 16th, prompting an enquiry as to who withdrew the money and what caused them to do so.

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