March 31, 2012 - 13:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A wheelchair-bound 83-year-old woman, underwear stuffed with jewelry, was arrested, along with three others for allegedly trying to smuggle stolen goods out of Cyprus late on Thursday, March 29.
Cyprus Mail reported that three Armenian women, including the 83-year-old, and a Cypriot man, 41, were remanded for five days by the Larnaca District Court.
When she appeared in court yesterday, the 83-year-old grandmother had seemingly abandoned the use of the wheelchair and walked into the courthouse on her own.
The four are being investigated for allegedly committing a felony, theft and the illegal possession of property.
They were arrested after a Larnaca airport security guard who was patting down the old lady discovered a number of items of jewelry stashed in her underwear with the price tags still attached.
The 83-year-old arrived at the airport in a wheelchair and checked in a little after 7pm.
She was going to be on the same flight with a friend - a 36-year-old woman - and the wife of her grandson - a 24 year old who was being extradited out of Cyprus.
The latter arrived at the airport under police escort, while the other two women had packed for her and carried her bags for her, Larnaca police spokesman Christos Andreou said.
But the 83-year-old was searched when she was going through security.
“A female guard on duty at the control discovered jewelry meticulously hidden in her possession,” Andreou said. He said police suspected she was only in the wheelchair to try and avoid a search.
The grandmother also had clothes, shoes, jewels, watches, perfumes and electronic goods in her hand luggage.
The 83-year-old claimed the other two women had given her the jewelry.
Authorities then searched the 36-year-old’s luggage and found perfumes, clothes, sunglasses and electronic goods, with the price tags still attached.
The 24-year-old also had a large quantity of new clothes in her luggage.
“They all blamed each other,” Andreou said adding that “eventually they claimed to have bought everything”.
The police said that none of the three women gave a satisfactory explanation of how they came by the items.
The 41-year-old man was arrested after one of the women implicated him.
All four deny any wrongdoing.
Andreou seized the opportunity to urge people to be vigilant when in crowded places where pickpockets lurk.