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Cyprus

Paphos police complete probe into €300,000 road signs scam

An investigation has come to a close into the payment of €300,000 by Paphos municipality for road signs, some of which never materialised or those that did being grossly overcharged, police said on Tuesday.

The case has now been forwarded to the attorney-general’s office which implicates five municipality employees and two private firms.

The alleged crimes took place between 2006 and 2012.

According to the findings, the suspects used three different means to extract easy cash.

One method was to issue false invoices for road signs that were never even made. Another was to charge for larger signs than those that were actually manufactured.

Alternatively, the suspects would charge the municipality for invoices the Public Works Department had already paid for.

Paphos CID chief Nicos Tsiappis said some of the receipts were not even approved by the municipal council tying at least one of the suspects to the municipality’s financial department.

More developments are expected to follow in the course of the next few days, he added.

The two companies implicated in the case seem to have been aware that the invoices and orders did not have the municipality’s stamp of approval and were false but went ahead with the orders anyway.

Daily Phileleftheros suggested this was a 10-year scandal that began with the absence of an internal auditor for a long time, combined with municipality employees’ lack of knowledge in knowing what was being fleeted in and out of the municipality’s store rooms.

 

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