Cyprus Mail

Police officer implicated in stolen car scam

By Angelos Anastasiou

A 36-year-old policeman and a 37-year-old night-club owner were arrested in connection with the case of a car reported stolen in the United Kingdom, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Tuesday.

The two will be brought before a court for a remand order on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Angelides said that the 37-year-old had been caught driving the car in Larnaca on January 19, before the vehicle was taken to Larnaca police and impounded as it had been reported stolen in the United Kingdom.

He noted that subsequent investigation revealed that on January 11, 2015, the 36-year-old police officer, whose post at Famagusta police allowed him access to the computerised system containing vehicle records, had searched the system for registered cars similar to the stolen one.

“He had identified some entries and was about to extract the records of the cars’ owners, including their addresses”, said Angelides.

He added that on the strength of this evidence, the 36-year-old officer was placed under arrest, with police investigating any criminal and disciplinary offences committed.

The second individual, 37, had been arrested in the early stages of investigation, Angelides said.

Angelides said that their intention had been to place the licence plates of a similar, legally registered vehicle, on the stolen one.

The offences for which the two are being investigated are conspiracy to commit a felony and misdemeanour, violation of personal privacy law, abuse of power, fraud, and breach of professional confidentiality.

Angelides added that the offences were committed from January 11 to 19 in Famagusta and Larnaca.

Asked whether the arrested policeman has been suspended, Angelides said that the chief of police had issued instruction for his suspension once he was informed of the issue.

“The police leadership’s position is that the capacity of policeman is irrelevant when it comes to investigating a case”, he said. “It has been stated before that zero tolerance will be exhibited in instances of corruption”.

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