Banks in South Block on IPC Funds Forces Illegal Transfers

North Cyprus News - IPC

Reports indicate that the Greek Cypriot administration has blocked the transfer of compensation funds deposited by the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in TRNC banks to Southern Cyprus. This has forced Greek Cypriots, who applied for and completed the compensation process, to resort to illegal means.

Greek Cypriot daily ‘Alithia’ made headlines with: “Cyprus Objects to ECHR Decisions… It Does Not Recognise the Money Received from the Immovable Property Commission… It Obstructs the Compensation Procedure for Greek Cypriot Properties in the Occupied Zones and Pushes Immigrants to Crime”.

The newspaper highlighted that the Greek administration is pushing its own citizens into money laundering and illegal transfers.

According to the report, Greek Cypriots who applied to the IPC for compensation for their properties in the TRNC and reached a settlement are unable to legally transfer the compensation money to Southern Cyprus. Even if transferred illegally, Greek banks do not recognise IPC documents, preventing the funds from being deposited.

The newspaper stated, “The tragicomic aspect is that the money originates from the Immovable Property Commission, which is internationally recognised and the only effective legal remedy acknowledged by the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Despite this, banks do not accept these funds, regardless of the documentation presented”.

The report revealed that Greek Cypriots, who received over 100,000 euros in compensation by opening accounts in TRNC banks as per IPC procedures, are unable to transfer the money to Southern Cyprus due to lack of communication between Greek and TRNC banks. To circumvent this, many open accounts in third countries, such as Dubai, and transfer the money to Southern Cyprus in small amounts over time. Some attempt to cross the Green Line with large sums of money, risking arrest and confiscation. Others make multiple trips between Southern Cyprus and the TRNC to withdraw the money in small increments, as the Green Line Regulation permits goods worth up to 9,999 euros to be taken from the TRNC to the South, but triggers a customs investigation for amounts of 10,000 euros or more for “black money” and “terrorism financing“.

The newspaper also reported that some gangs exploit this loophole, smuggling compensation money from Greek Cypriots in TRNC banks to Southern Cyprus in exchange for a fee or a percentage of the funds.

In a separate report, Kibris Postasi writes that Greek Cypriots have received a total of £25.4 million (€29.8m) worth of compensation from the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in the north so far in 2024

Kibris Postasi

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