In a first for Cyprus, a prison officer has found himself on the wrong side of the bars, after he was jailed Thursday by Nicosia court after being caught trying to smuggle drugs into the central prisons.
Nicosia district court passed a 15-month sentence on the 37-year-old warder who was suspended from his duties last December after being caught with almost half a kilo of synthetic cannabis, called ‘Dream’ strapped to his body.
The court showed zero tolerance, taking into account that the case involved a uniformed person, and corruption.
The prison authorities had received information that the man was involved in bringing drugs into the institution which were being distributed with the cooperation of convicts.
With the cooperation of the drug squad, an operation was set up with the warder being stopped and searched at the guardhouse. The find confirmed the man was involved in trafficking drugs within the prison with his associates on the inside.
Drug squad officers found 430 grammes of the synthetic cannabis in two packages, one stuck with tape to his abdomen and the other between his legs, while a subsequent search of his home found a vacuum sealing machine with traces of the drug.
Prison governor Anna Aristotelous said detecting the particular substances was difficult and made harder by the absence of technology, adding that there was a decision to install scanners at the entrances, but they first needed to get the all clear from the labour inspection department over potential health effects because of the radiation they emitted.