The wife of Mehmet Eminoğlu (photo left), a man accused of falsifying title deeds, told the press yesterday after a court hearing that she had received death threats against herself, her husband and her children. Mrs. Eminoğlu said that she was going to ask for police protection for her family.
Investment İnşaat Ltd director and founder Mehmet Eminoğlu and Serdar Özbekoğlu, a certifying officer are accused of forging dozens of title deeds.
The two men have been remanded in custody for a further seven days having been arrested in July on suspicion of title deed fraud.
Police have asked for time to investigate complaints from a number of property investors, mainly from Turkey, who say that they have been defrauded.
Architect Muammer Uğursöz, said to be the director of Yaztech Investment, was also arrested on charges of making a false statement to police after initially claiming that he had paid Mr Eminoğlu 600,000TL for two apartments.
The police stated that there were others who were involved in the matter. After statements had been provided, three office premises and two houses were searched. Printers, documents and computers were seized by the police.
A total of 44 false power of attorney letters were discovered by police, as well as 19 apartments and four shops which title deeds had been fraudulently transferred.
Sixteen flats worth a combined total of £1.7 million had been signed over to Mr Uğursöz’s company using bogus documents, a report by Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris’ said, but detectives were only able to trace £112,000 that had been paid out from its accounts. Mr Uğursöz “was unable to explain to police” how the 16 properties came into his possession, the paper said.
Complaints have so far been received from at least 18 individuals, police officer Halil Drangoz giving evidence told the court. He warned that he expected more to come forward. Three other suspects wanted in connection with the alleged fraud have “escaped overseas”, the police officer added.
Meanwhile two members of staff from the Land Registry office in Kyrenia, Türkan Dayı and Vedia Vaizoğlu, were released on bail pending trial. A third employee arrested, Özlem Akdağ, was later released without charge after police said she was not connected to the case.
Reading out a statement, İzzet Türkmen, head of the Hak-Sen trade union, said that while he had “no intention” of trying to influence the ongoing court case, it had highlighted the need for an overhaul of the title deed system and the need to recruit more staff.
“Following this incident, we are sure that all [Land Registry] employees will now experience uneasiness as they handle hundreds of documents every day,” he said.
“This will lead to [property transactions] taking longer, and could even cause systemic chaos.”