THE mayor of Ayia Napa has blamed tourists for turning the resort into an "open-air club" following the gang rape of a 19-year-old girl.
A group of 12 Israeli teens are alleged to have attacked the Brit teen on Wednesday at a hotel where she was staying in the Cyprus resort.
Yiannis Karousos criticised the transformation of Ayia Napa, and Cyprus in general, into a relentless party destination by the tourists who flock their each year.
He said he was saddened by the ordeal and claims that, while the town has stepped up its police patrols every year, the issue partly lies with the conditions “that we have allowed to transpire within our tourism which have led us to this point.”
He also announced on Wednesday plans to revamp the resort, with a budget of €55m.
Mr Karousos is set to transform Ayia Napa into a first-rate resort by 2030.
Currently millions of tourists flock to the party destination every summer, most with the aim of bringe drinking and partying.
The area has become rife with drugs and gang crime, with the rape of a teenage girl the most recent in a spate of crimes against Brits in the town.
A number of the Israeli teens arrested for the attack have claimed furious cops broke their noses during the arrest.
The woman told police that the large group held her down while taking videos on their mobile phones and laughing, according to Ynet News.
SCRATCHES ON HER LIMBS
Court documents reveal the victim had "scratches on her lower limbs" as a result of the trauma.
But today, speaking through their lawyer, the group claim the accuser is lying, and was prompted to report the false incident by another Brit.
And they said police broke their noses at the Ayia Napa Hotel, Pambos Napa Rocks in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Their lawyers told the Jerusalem Post: "The police hit us, they broke our noses, and the girl is lying.
"Help us, get us out of here, you'll see we're right and that we're innocent."
She is reported to have met a member of the group three days before to the incident, engaging in sexual relations.
She reportedly agreed to go into the hotel room at around 3.30am with one of the males.
But she claims, once she got inside, 11 other teens entered the room and raped her.
The Times of Israel reports some or all of those being quizzed by cops are 16 or 17 years old and three of those arrested have since admitted to having sex with the girl.
Though the men claim it took place with 'with love and consent'.
Three of the suspects were bought to the Famagusta Court, in Paralimni, today with the other nine arriving an hour later.
BRITS TURN ON ISRAELI GROUP
Reports suggest that as news spread of the woman's ordeal, Brit tourists turned on other members of the Israeli group who they believed to be involved.
The two parties had previously become friends prior to the attack.
Cops in Ayia Napa and neighbouring Paralimni arrested the tourists at 6am on Wednesday, it is understood.
A member of the group was able to translate for the others due to them only speaking limited English.
One of the boys mother's told news channel Keshet 12 that he was unable to understand what Greek police were saying to him.
Israel's Foreign Office said it was aware of the case and in contact with those arrested.
The ministry said: “The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossi Wurmbrand, is following developments and is in contact with the detainees. Their families have been updated."
The court hearing was kept private due to members of the group being minors and the judge determined that they will now remain in custody for a further eight days, according to the Cyprus Mail.
The alleged victim is said to be having medical treatment.
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