Greek national Theofanis Lolos, believed to be a key suspect in an ongoing probe into the waste management and corruption affair, arrived in Cyprus on Thursday evening escorted by Cypriot police.
His questioning was set to start immediately, and he was expected to appear before a court on Friday morning for his remand hearing.
Lolos had been wanted on the strength of a European arrest warrant. He is the director of ENVIROPLAN SA, an engineering consulting firm implicated in the suspect awarding to Helector, another Greek outfit, of two contracts to build and operate waste management facilities in Paphos and Larnaca.
In their capacity as government consultants, hired to help with drafting the tender specifications, ENVIROPLAN are suspected of tailoring the tender to suit Helector’s bid.
The case relates to the waste management facility at Marathounda, Paphos, for which Helector won the contract in 2003; the facility went operational two years later.
During the course of investigations authorities discovered that Helector was overcharging the municipality while certain officials looked the other way in exchange for skimming off the top.
Subsequently police uncovered a similar scam with the landfill site at Koshi, Larnaca, a contract also awarded to the same company, Helector. The Koshi contract was awarded in 2006.
So far 12 persons have been indicted on bribery and corruption charges, including former Paphos Mayor Savvas Vergas – already serving a jail sentence for another corruption case – and sitting Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis.
The 12 are facing trial before a criminal court in Nicosia, with proceedings scheduled to begin on April 26.
Despite the indictments, a police investigation is ongoing. Still wanted on a European arrest warrant is Leonidas Bobolas, the CEO of Helector.
Bobolas has been served the warrant; he is currently challenging in Greece a request by Cypriot authorities for his extradition.