JUSTICE Minister Ionas Nicolaou asked parliament on Thursday to push ahead with an amendment that would allow the authorities to shut down establishments where gambling was taking place until the case was tried in court.
Police are asking to be allowed to issue an order banning the establishment from engaging in any or similar activities or closing it until the case was tried in court or in the event there was a conviction.
It is common in Cyprus for police to raid a gambling joint and seize all equipment on one day and for it to be up and running again the next.
“This amendment is necessary because we cannot have laws to protect people but not being able to enforce them in an effective manner,” Nicolaou said.
The amendment, he said, was decisive in the fight against activities related with serious crime in Cyprus.
Police have carried out 850 operations against such activities but it was impossible to effectively tackle all the cases, which have been booked two, three, five, and 10 times so far.