Cyprus Mail

Paphos doctors remanded for alleged foreign worker scam

Six people, including two doctors, were remanded in custody for seven days in Paphos on Saturday in connection with the illegal employment of foreign workers using bogus medical certificates.
The two doctors, 68 and 51, are suspected of issuing bogus certificates used by the other suspects to hire foreign workers.
The four – the owner of the employment agency, two employees, and an 80-year-old who had been friends with the man, 78, who reported the case to police – were arrested on Thursday.
It started when the 78-year-old man was notified of unpaid dues to social insurance for a foreign caregiver he employed at his home.
The man told his local social insurance office that he never employed anyone, and he was advised to report the case to police.
Police found out that in 2013, the 78-year-old had submitted three applications for a caregiver – two were rejected and one approved without him knowing.
The man told police that in the past he and the 80-year-old, who co-operates with employment agencies, had discussed the possibility of hiring a caregiver for his wife.
To that end he handed over his ID card and signed various documents without reading them. From that time, there had been no development as regards his wife’s caregiver, the man said.
On Saturday, the court heard that the 80-year-old had asked the 51-year-old doctor to issue a certificate in the 78-year-old’s name, saying he was overweight with mobility problems. These are some of the conditions for hiring a foreign male caregiver.
The suspect also claimed that he paid the doctor €80.
The doctor denied ever issuing a certificate without the patient being present. He also denied taking €80, saying he never charged for certificates.
Police told the court that when they showed him the certificate, the doctor recognised the writing and the signature as his own.
The other doctor refused to answer any questions, police said.
Police said they have two certificates allegedly issued by the two doctors. One, issued by the 68-year-old, described the complainant as being 120 kilos and 1.64m tall. In the other document, the 78-year-old is 130 kilos and 1.67.
The 78-year-old actually weighs 70 kilos and is 1.65. He said he was never overweight and was never examined by either doctor.

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