By legend the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, Cyprus's modern history has, in contrast, been dominated by enmity between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island which was backed by the Athens government. The island was effectively partitioned with the northern third inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots. United Nations troops patrol the "Green Line" dividing the two parts. Reunification talks have proceeded slowly. Cyprus successfully diversified its largely agrarian economy into one based on services - including a large tourism sector - and light manufacturing. More recently it has also developed into an important financial hub, especially for investors from Russia and Eastern Europe. bbc.com
stolen items Theft Burglary Human Trafficking Fraud Cyber Riots/Civil Unrest Drug Trafficking
According to OAS- Cyprus is generally a safe country and experiences less violent crime than other European countries of similar size. However, crimes of opportunity and crime-related incidents do occur. Criminal activity in the northern part of Cyprus is reportedly low. The highest number of robberies in the Turkish-administrated Cypriot area of the island was reported in the cities of Kyrenia, Famagusta, and northern Nicosia. Nationwide, areas frequented by tourists can experience petty crime. Rates of street crimes, such as pickpocketing, purse snatchings, and other petty crimes, remain steady. Muggings, armed robbery, and harassment are uncommon but have been reported by local media. Thefts of valuables left in plain sight in unattended vehicles do occur. The number of opportunistic crimes (pickpocketing, purse snatching, car break-ins, robberies, home burglaries) are likely to rise during the holidays or during the summer when many homes are left vacant.
Most street crimes are non-violent and non-confrontational and range from scams to petty theft. Most street criminals are unarmed and are not prone to gratuitous violence. Armed violence and assaults against the general public or targeting of foreigners remain uncommon.
Residential burglaries are an issue following the downturn in the economy a few years ago; although still an issue, the number of burglaries being reported has recently declined. Empty residences and homes without an alarm or other security precautions (shutters, additional locks on doors/windows) are more likely to be burglarized. Burglaries of commercial establishments (jewelry shops, convenience stores, sometimes banks) have also been reported.
Incidents linked to organized crime are a concern. Criminal incidents involving improvised explosive, incendiary devices and small arms, primarily attributed to organize crime activity, occur infrequently. Online gambling is the originating cause of many crimes, including loan sharking, threats, blackmail, and even kidnapping, which have occurred in previous years. Sporadic bombings, shootings, and arson have occurred since 2010. These incidents typically involve conflicts between rival organized crime groups and have not been associated with terrorism. The attacks are typically designed to send a message to the intended recipient but occasionally also cause injury or fatality. These incidents have normally taken place in the late evening or early morning hours but may occur at any time. Most of the reported instances of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) did not result in an explosion.
Cyprus is a trafficking destination for persons subjected to forced prostitution and labor. Sex trafficking occurs within venues used by Cyprus' commercial sex industry (bars, pubs, coffee shops, cabarets, massage parlors) and private apartments. Groups vulnerable to forced labor include domestic workers, asylum seekers, and foreign migrants working in the construction and agricultural sectors.
Fraud-related crimes remain low in relation to population size, but cyber-crimes are increasing. Cyber security should be a priority for any company operating in Cyprus. The importance of using only legitimate software cannot be over-stressed.
Other Areas of Concern
Travel throughout Cyprus is considered safe, and there are no regions designated as off-limits.
It is strongly recommended that establishments advertising themselves as “cabarets” or “nightclubs” be avoided. “Cabaret girls,” also referred to as “artistes,” are generally associated with or are victims of the commercial sex industry and organized crime groups. Visitors to cabarets or those who engage “artistes” often find they are significantly overcharged for drinks, particularly when paying by credit card.
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