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Cyprus

Police to probe Nicosia sewerage board

Police are preparing to launch an investigation into possible misappropriation of taxpayer money by the Nicosia Sewerage Board (SAL) after receiving the green light from the attorney-general.

Spokesman Andreas Angelides said the force received the file on Tuesday and was at the stage of planning its next steps.

“It is premature (to speak about arrests),” Angelides said. “We must see the material first; see what we have before us.”

Police were also studying a file concerning Larnaca’s sewerage board.

On Friday, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said more than €10mln in taxpayer money appeared to have been squandered by SAL in payments to private contractors.

Michaelides, who passed on the findings of his probe to the attorney-general said the matter concerned agreements with private contractors.

“We have examined a large number of contracts relating to a large number of contractors, mainly as far as the way these contracts were being handled by SAL technocrats are concerned,” the Auditor-general said.

“Thus far, we as the Audit Service have no evidence pointing to involvement by elected board members.”

This was in reference to the notorious Paphos sewerage board case, where elected local officials have been charged for corruption.

Former mayor Savvas Vergas and the board’s formed director have already been jailed for six years while five others, including EDEK MP Fidias Sarikas will stand trial.

The capital’s sewerage system is three times the size of that of Paphos.

 

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