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Police say Paphos mayor’s comments ‘unseemly’

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos

“The positions of the Paphos mayor regarding work done by the police are unfortunate and offensive to the entire force,” an official statement from the police said on Tuesday in response to statements made by the outspoken Phedonas Phedonos.

The mayor had complained of police inaction to investigate reports he made that Aradippou officials demanded bribes from oilfield service giant Schlumberger to secure a base of operations in Larnaca.
Police described his complaints on CyBC TV as “unseemly with degrading characterisations.”

“Police over time has proven its abilities, hence the continuous successes in several serious cases that come to light especially in recent years,” the statement said.

“Incorrect handling and individual corruption should not bulldoze the work being done and we have clearly indicated the willingness of the leadership of the police to combat these phenomena and work in this direction.”

Police said that despite their repeated attempts to get Phedonos to provide some data, even verbally, the mayor still refuses and insists on publicly accusing the police for obstruction and concealment.

They said that though deputy police chief Andreas Koushioumis had only last Thursday and again on Monday visited Phedonos to ask him for more information, the mayor had preferred to suggest to Koushioumis that there was evidence in the statements made by him to the media which they could utilise.

Phedonos had initially publicly made the allegations in March, saying a large American company had been blackmailed into paying kickbacks while seeking to set up shop in Larnaca.

The mayor has been criticised for not providing police with a statement, something he argued he did not do because every time he had in the past, those implicated found out within five minutes.

Speaking on the CyBC show Phedonos also alleged the beaches of Paphos were being used by criminal gangs to deal drugs, urging the presenter to “come down this evening and sit opposite the premises being used so you can see how it’s done.”

He told viewers the gangs had met “with Kalashnikovs” to sort out which territories each would run.

The mayor said he had told police about the matter but they had done nothing about it.

The police drug squad webpage urges members of the public to “Call 1498 anonymously and give information as it assists the work of the police,” adding “That in each case considered, privacy and confidentiality is our top priority.”

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