Cyprus Mail
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Focus on single official in sport funding scandal

By Constantinos Psillides

A SOLE high ranking official with the Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO) appears to be behind the misappropriation of funds at the semi-governmental organisation – including transferring money from the employees’ pension fund to a private account – according to a government source.

The daily Simerini run a story on Sunday focusing on a single official which was based on an official letter sent by the CSO employees’ union dated March 11, 2015. The irregularities were first reported in the auditor general’s annual report last year.

The daily claims – based on the letter – that from 2006 to 2012 around €1,765,000 went missing from the employees’ pension fund. Around €375,000 has to do with money not included in the organisation’s budget by accident while €860,000 was reported to have been paid out by the state to CSO but was never deposited in the organisation’s bank account.

It was also reported that money was transferred to one official’s bank account without the CSO board being notified first.

“Almost all irregularities mentioned in the news report and the employee letter has to do with a high ranking official of the organisation. It is up to the attorney general and the police to decide how they should proceed on the matter,” the source told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, commenting on Sunday, said that “it appears that some people were partying with CSO’s money” and added that the era of impunity is over.

Additionally, the daily reported on a number of other irregularities like reimbursing for over-the-top travel expenses and covering the cost of friends and family members accompanying officials in business trips.

Klea Hadjistefanou-Papaellina, CSO’s chairman, issued a statement on Monday saying that all paperwork relevant to the case had been forwarded to the competent authorities.

“There is no need to discuss a case that is being handled by the police. Our role as a board appointed in 2014 was to facilitate the investigation, which we did,” read the statement.

She refused to comment further during a Monday radio show on CyBC radio, explaining that she could not comment on an ongoing case.

All irregularities concerning the CSO were included in the auditor general’s annual report, with the exception of the pension fund misappropriation that does not fall within the auditor general’s authority.

The case file was sent by the AG’s office and is currently with the state law office.

 

 

 

By Constantinos Psillides

 

A SOLE high ranking official with the Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO) appears to be behind the misappropriation of funds at the semi-governmental organisation – including transferring money from the employees’ pension fund to a private account – according to a government source.

The daily Simerini run a story on Sunday focusing on a single official which was based on an official letter sent by the CSO employees’ union dated March 11, 2015. The irregularities were first reported in the auditor general’s annual report last year.

The daily claims – based on the letter – that from 2006 to 2012 around €1,765,000 went missing from the employees’ pension fund. Around €375,000 has to do with money not included in the organisation’s budget by accident while €860,000 was reported to have been paid out by the state to CSO but was never deposited in the organisation’s bank account.

It was also reported that money was transferred to one official’s bank account without the CSO board being notified first.

“Almost all irregularities mentioned in the news report and the employee letter has to do with a high ranking official of the organisation. It is up to the attorney general and the police to decide how they should proceed on the matter,” the source told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, commenting on Sunday, said that “it appears that some people were partying with CSO’s money” and added that the era of impunity is over.

Additionally, the daily reported on a number of other irregularities like reimbursing for over-the-top travel expenses and covering the cost of friends and family members accompanying officials in business trips.

Klea Hadjistefanou-Papaellina, CSO’s chairman, issued a statement on Monday saying that all paperwork relevant to the case had been forwarded to the competent authorities.

“There is no need to discuss a case that is being handled by the police. Our role as a board appointed in 2014 was to facilitate the investigation, which we did,” read the statement.

She refused to comment further during a Monday radio show on CyBC radio, explaining that she could not comment on an ongoing case.

All irregularities concerning the CSO were included in the auditor general’s annual report, with the exception of the pension fund misappropriation that does not fall within the auditor general’s authority.

The case file was sent by the AG’s office and is currently with the state law office.

 

 

 

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