Cyprus Mail

Doctors busted in Paphos pensioners’ scam

IN the latest scam involving the medical profession, two private sector doctors were arrested in Paphos on Friday in connection with a case of forged medical assessments regarding illegally employed foreign nationals, reported to the police by a 78-year-old man.

The two 68-year-old pathologists are thought to be involved in a conspiracy, along with four other individuals linked to a private employment agency, to use unsuspecting elderly citizens in need of caretaking at home in order to get entry approved by state authorities for foreign caregivers, whom they then sent to work for others.

The two doctors will be brought before the Paphos district court on Saturday for a remand hearing.

Four others – the owner of the employment agency, two employees, and an 80-year-old who had been friends with the man who reported the case – were arrested on Thursday. The Paphos district court withheld a decision regarding their remand for Saturday.

According to the police, the 78-year-old man was notified of unpaid dues to the Social Insurance Fund in connection with a foreign caregiver he employed at his home.

The man told his local Social Insurance office that he never employed anyone, though he had applied for approval to hire a foreign caregiver three times.

After reporting the incident to the police, investigators found that an 80-year-old friend of the man’s had offered to help him apply to hire a foreigner as a domestic caregiver three years ago, through a private employment agency.

The application had been preceded by two unsuccessful applications by the 78-year-old.

In August 2013, a man from Sri Lanka, who arrived in Cyprus on the back of the man’s third application – which had been approved without his knowledge – started work, but for a family in Paphos, instead of the 78-year-old.

Police arrested the 80-year-old, the owner of the agency, as well as two employees, and two doctors.

The doctors are thought to have been issuing medical assessments that allowed the foreigners to remain in Cyprus, supposedly because they worked for elderly people with health issues.

Police did not rule out the possibility that the doctors may have been involved in other similar cases.

The six are accused of having conspired to commit a felony, forgery, circulation of a forged document, impersonation, and illegal entry to the country.

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