Cyprus Mail

Paphos won’t pay dues to company implicated in kickback scandal

Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos said the municipality will not be paying some €300,000 it owed a company embroiled in a waste management kickback scandal and would also seek the return of cash already paid.

“This money does not belong to the company,” he was quoted as saying by the Cyprus News Agency.

The company, Helector, is embroiled in a corruption case relating to waste management sites in the Paphos (Marathounda) and Larnaca (Koshi).

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

Phedonos said the municipality would also seek the return of a lot of money paid to Helector once the court case was over, perhaps in four or five years.

The money would be used to improve the road network or other projects to improve the public’s quality of life, he said.

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.

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.

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