30 January 2009 - Gary Robb is Extradited / Deported
Police in Kyrenia arrested Gary Robb, aged 46, and his mother, Mavis, aged 70, on Monday 26 January. At the house they found an illegal firearm, but this is unlikely to have been the reason for the arrest.
On Tuesday 27th , he was extradited / deported from North Cyprus to Stansted where he was welcomed by police from Cleveland and taken into custody. Although there are no formal extradition arrangements between the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) and the UK, a number of fugitives from British justice have been expelled from the TRNC in recent years.
Mr Robb is wanted for alleged drug offences in the UK, and his mother allegedly aided and abetted his escape from the UK while he was on bail. She also allegedly assisted in the transfer of drug monies from the UK to TRNC.
The North Cyprus authorities had become exasperated by the inability or unwillingness of Mr Robb to restart construction work on the unfinished properties at Amaranta Valley. Despite an agreement reached in January 2008 between Mr Robb and the TRNC authorities for the return of building equipment impounded by the government, and the unfreezing of a number of legal injunctions, very little construction work has taken place during the last 12 months. There are some 240 British clients who have been waiting several years for work to be completed on their villas.
We understand that the TRNC government had given Mr Gary Robb a number of deadlines for him to start work in earnest on completing the unfinished properties during 2008. Some UK customers appear to have made further payments to Mr Robb and/or his company Aga Developments Ltd, based on a commitment to complete the construction of their properties. His failure to comply led the TRNC to deport / extradite him.
The fate of his company, Aga Developments Ltd, is also unclear. Lawyers acting for disgruntled customers appear to have made an application to the TRNC courts for the company be struck off and that the assets should be liquidated in order for the proceeds to be distributed to the long suffering customers. Whether the assets will realize any significant value is open to question.
The proposed solution to the ĎAga Saga' was for the construction work to be completed for customers who had already made payments to the company and/or Mr Robb. Once this had been done, customers could either move into and enjoy the property, or sell the property and recoup their funds.
Unfortunately, the re-commencement of construction work was a failure. Contractors blockaded the site in an effort to secure payment of invoices, and many customers were reluctant to pay any further funds to a discredited person or company.
Although Mr Gary Robb would appear to have acted improperly in both the UK and TRNC, questions have also been raised about the conduct of his TRNC colleagues. Mr Tahir Soycan has been cited as a colleague of Mr Robb, and it has been claimed that he siphoned off funds from Aga Developments Ltd. This claim has been corroborated by Mr Robb. There is also a scandal surrounding Britannia Construction Ltd, jointly owned by Messrs Robb and Soycan. Mr Soycan was allegedly involved in the fraudulent transfer of Mr Gary Robb's shares while the latter was in Thailand.
Due to the extradation / departation, It now seems unlikely that Mr Gary Robb will return to North Cyprus in the foreseeable future. The adverse publicity and continuing distress experienced by many of his British customers has cast a large cloud over the TRNC property sector. Together with the global financial crisis, this scandal has seriously affected property sales.
However, the position of expatriates who were seduced by the low prices offered by Gary Robb and proactively marketed by Unwins Estate Agency remains precarious. For many Birts who were looking for a bargain property in the sun, it looked too good to be true. Like most things which appear to be too good to be true, this is precisely the case. A dream home in the sun turned out to be a nightmare. The author was discussing the prices at Amaranta Valley with a colleague in 2004, and after taking in account the commission normally charged by Unwins, neither of us could understand how properties could be built at the stated selling price. A TRNC solicitor who speaks excellent English and has a well developed sense of humour was present and added 'What makes you think they intended to build and complete the properties for their customers?'.
The Prime Minister, Mr Ferdi Soyer has denied claims that Gary Robb was extended a £3.5m line of credit last year and has confirmed estimates that some £8m is needed to complete around 300 properties. This is about £27,000 per property. In addition, there has been uncertainty about the provision of estate roads, mains electricity and water.
The departure of Mr Robb from TRNC may be an opportunity for a new initiative to be launched which will complete the unfinished properties and draw a line under this unfortunate episode.
There are many contradictory reports concerning Mr Gary Robb, and we apologise for any inaccuracies.
Leslie Hardy - copyright - 30 January 2009
North Cyprus Property & Mortgage
from Wellington Estates Ltd
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