Many moons ago (well in November 2009) I mentioned the curious case of a Cypriot poker game that was raided by the police. Now I know there’s nothing particularly amazing about an illegal poker game getting raided – it happens all the time. Some countries’ laws against poker are so draconian that I’d say it was criminal to uphold the law as opposed to not having one at all.
But this was slightly different. All the players – 42 of them – were elderly female pensioners. A real den of iniquity!
A local news source had this to say: “On arriving at the private home, police found several rooms containing green felted tables, 546 chips, 530 playing cards and approximately €100 in cash. The women were aged between seventy-five and ninety-five”
A whole €100! These girls were big time! One hilarious detail which has just come out is an eyewitness who reported that some of the grannies tried to do a runner when the police came through the door. Well who knows, perhaps it was a brothel in disguise, frequented by local MPs and judges?
It’s crackers I know. After the original story I didn’t hear anything about it and just imagined that this would have all been dealt with sensibly, ie by the whole thing being well and truly forgotten about.
But no, plod just can’t do the sensible thing sometimes: more than two years after the raid of the century, Cypriot police decided to summon 40 of the ladies to court to face charges! Clearly the wheels of “justice” grind slowly in Cyprus (and in a not very sensible manner).
Gambling in Cyprus punishable by up to six months in jail or a €750 fine. Well the law is the law you know!
One of the ladies is now 98 and said she wasn’t all that keen on going to court but would do if her doctor says she was well enough to go. I sincerely hope that she was one of the few that tried to have it on her toes when the police arrived.
Since the story broke the gaggle of old girls have received a fair bit of press attention and have become quite the celebrities in Cyprus, which makes the bringing of the charges even more ridiculous.
Prosecutor Michalis Themistocleous said the summons was “procedural” and that the attorney general was looking at whether to proceed. Perhaps with all the publicity – much of it pointing at the stupidity of law enforcement – they finally decided not to proceed with the court case.
Even if they had gone to court two of the ladies would have managed to escape justice though. They died.