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Watchdog assessing information seized in cartel raid

The competition watchdog on Thursday was assessing the documents and other information seized during a major raid of almost a dozen large construction companies in connection with collusion in the tenders for public projects.

Loukia Christodoulou, the head of the CPC, once more declined to offer any details regarding the investigation, which has been described the biggest to date.

“All information and evidence before the commission will be evaluated,” she said, adding that she could not divulge any details of the ongoing probe.

The CPC said the raids were part of an investigation into bid rigging concerning public competitions for the maintenance of roads and motorways between 2007 and 2014.

Reports suggested that the companies were caught completely unawares by the CPC’s action, assisted by members of the auditor-general’s office, and the state’s IT department.

In one instance, investigators found a document which appears to be an agreement between two companies to share a tender for two projects — periodic maintenance and reconstruction of roads in 2010.

The document, published by daily Politis, which blacked out the names of the companies, said: one company would apply for one project and the second company would go for the other.

“In case of success, the projects will be carried out jointly,” the document said.

The two companies eventually got the projects which were done in 2011.

The companies raided by the CPC on Tuesday are: Cybarco, Iacovou Brothers, Medcon Construction, Charilaos Apostolides, Α. Panayides, Loizos Iordanou, FAP construction, General Constructions, Nemesis, Nemesis Asphalt, and Zemco Construction.

Cybarco, Iacovou Brothers, and Zemco, were also under investigation in connection with bid rigging between 2008 and 2014 in connection with the entire second phase of the Larnaca sewerage system.

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