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Corruption probe launched against former ports boss

Police said on Thursday they are investigating corruption claims against the former head of the ports authority who is said to have asked subordinates to deposit, on his behalf, large sums of cash that arrived at the organisation’s headquarters in shoeboxes.

Spokesman Andreas Angelides said the investigation was in the initial stage.

“At this stage we are looking into information we have been given and will start taking statements immediately,” he said, without providing any more details.

Media reports said Yiannakis Kokkinos, who has since retired, had, on numerous occasions, asked three employees to deposit cash in his personal account at Alpha Bank.

The employees were sent to a specific branch and were always served by the same teller, daily Politis said.

It is understood that the police investigation was prompted by written and signed statements from the three employees.

The cash was handed over in a shoebox, the way it arrived from Limassol via courier.

Reports said they contained between €7,000 and €10,000, but there were also smaller amounts.

The three estimate they have deposited tens of thousands of euros.

Kokkinos denied the allegations, saying he was dumbfounded.

Ports authority chairman Alecos Michaelides said they will wait for the conclusion of the investigation to see whether any current employees had committed any disciplinary offenses.

“We cannot launch disciplinary procedures against anyone who has retired,” he said. “What interests us is whether there are disciplinary issues concerning current workers.”

Michaelides said he will not tolerate any irregularities and suggested that Cyprus ended up where it did because people got away with crimes in the past.

“This is what happens when you do not punish people who commit offenses.”

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Source: Cyprus News Agency

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