Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Bomb hoax at Paphos mayor’s home and town hall (Updated)

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos

Police on Tuesday evening received a call saying bombs had been placed at the home of Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos and the town hall but it later proved to be a hoax.

According to police, a man speaking Greek, called the public hotline at around 10pm and said that bombs were going to explode at Phedonos’ house and the town hall.

Both the house and the town hall were sealed off but police did not locate any explosives.

Officers also examined a payphone, which they believe had been used to place the threatening call.

The call came a few hours after Phedonos travelled to the police HQ in Nicosia where he gave a statement in connection with a waste management investigations in Paphos and Larnaca .

He reportedly gave extensive information on the involvement of politicians in the scandal dating back to 2003 when the projects were being discussed.

The Paphos mayor, according to the Cyprus News Agency, gave information about four persons which had direct involvement in the award of two contracts, for Marathounda, in Paphos, and Koshi, in Larnaca to companies belonging to Greek national Leonidas Bobolas.

Phedonos said his latest statement to police concerned new evidence that came this way.

“The whole waste management scam was set up because there was cover from state officials. The scandal did not happen overnight, and when some people carefully read about the interventions, decisions since 2005 and 2006, even before the [waste management] contract was awarded, the signing of the contract and what ensued in the following years, there will be many who won’t be able to sleep at night.”

So far 12 people have been charged and are facing trial for corruption and bribery.

The 12 are: Larnaca mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis; suspended Paphos municipality chief financial officer Demetris Patsalides; interior ministry official Michalis Pantis, the person who oversaw works at the Koshi landfill; interior ministry officers Antonis Kourouzides, Stelios Papadopoulos, and Christakis Petrou, all members of the tenders committee; former interior ministry official Giorgos Koulappis; his son Nicos Koulappis; Jordanian civil engineer Ιmad Baqleh, an employee of the implicated company, Helector; former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas; former head of the Paphos sewerage board Eftychios Malekides; and Demetris Yiannakopoulos, former director of Helector.

Meanwhile Cypriot extradition requests are pending for two Greek nationals: Leonidas Bobolas, CEO of Helector, and Theofanis Lolos, director of ENVIROPLANT, a firm assigned by the interior ministry to oversee the projects.

Helector landed the contracts to build and operate the two landfills in Paphos and Larnaca, where it has emerged that the company overcharged by reporting inflated waste volumes in cahoots with interior ministry and local municipality officials.

Helector CEO Athanasios Katris, a suspect in the case, has allegedly told police that they paid Giorgos Koulappis €100,000 in kickbacks, paid in three instalments.

Citing Katris’ statement to police, daily Politis said Vergas had asked for five per cent on the proceeds and that Koulappis came back asking for more money.

Pantis and Kourouzides allegedly received €15,000 each, according to Politis.


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