Cyprus Mail

State aims for €40m return from waste fraud

THE authorities will try and get back some €40m, believed to be the sum of illicit gains Greek company Helector made by overcharging local authorities, it emerged on Friday.

According to Cyprus News Agency (CNA) sources, representatives from the Attorney and Auditor-general’s offices, the interior and agriculture ministries, as well as the treasury, met at the office of the commissioner earlier in the week to discuss the matter.

They aim to hand over a dossier of all the Koshi landfill documents to the EU Directorate-General for Competition in a bid to have the excessive profits believed to be in the range of €30m to €40m returned from Helector.

As the operator of the Koshi waste management site, it is being investigated for overcharging local authorities and the taxpayer for more tonnes of rubbish than it actually handled.

The case has so far seen 13 people, including two mayors, facing criminal charges in court.

Excessive profits are determined to be profits that are above the five to 10 per cent mark.

If the EU committee deems Helector has indeed cashed in excessive profits, then it will be ordered to return the sum to the state.

Investigators told CNA there was no shadow of a doubt that Helector made excessive profits.

State officials are also looking into calling a new tender to replace the waste management operator, while Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis stated this would begin in April and the bid will be selected in about a year.

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