Cyprus to eject tourists for bid to travel north

NICOSIA (AFP) – Cyprus is to deport 14 Israeli tourists for trying to cross over to the Turkish-occupied north, the state CNA news agency said on Saturday. The Israelis, who arrived on Thursday, tried to cross into the north through Pyla in the UN-controlled buffer zone, police told CNA. Last month, 50 Israelis were deported after declaring they would be staying in the southern resort of Larnaca when they had booked hotels in the occupied north of the island to gamble at casinos. Gambling is illegal south of the Green Line but in the north there are countless casinos, many of which offer special packages for Israeli punters. The island is a favorite holiday destination among Israelis. [A report from Nicosia yesterday said Turkish-Cypriot casino owners have been hiring heavies to visit fraudulent losers from the south who have paid gambling debts with photocopied Cypriot currency and bad checks.]