Cyprus' justice minister says a home where police seized five tons of a chemical compound that can be turned into an explosive had been kept under surveillance for some time before officers moved in.

Ionas Nicolaou told The Associated Press Wednesday that authorities put the Larnaca home in their sights after being tipped off, but did not reveal the source.

Police are holding a 26-year-old Lebanese-Canadian man in connection with the seizure. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit a criminal offense and possession and transportation of explosives.

A security source told the AP that the owner of the home, a man of Arabic origin, is being sought in connection with the case. It's unclear what use was intended for the cache of ammonium nitrate.