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Cyprus

Man remanded for using forged electrical licence

The case concerns forged suitability certificates for the electrical installations of various buildings

A 37-year-old employee of the state-owned power company (EAC) was remanded for four days on Wednesday, as police continue to investigate allegations of forgery and circulating a forged document.

According to lead investigator Nicolas Chimonas, police are planning on taking statements from about 30 individuals from the suspect’s family and work environment, EAC inspectors and owners of homes in the Paphos region for which suitability certificates have been issued and the electricians who co-signed off on them.

The suspect’s lawyer did not object to his remand, saying he is fully co-operating with police investigators.

However, his lawyer asked that investigators confirm whether the alleged forgeries produced any financial gain for the suspect, and whether approval of the electrical installations at any of the houses in question came from contractors’ reports or on-site inspections by EAC inspectors.

The 37-year-old was arrested by Paphos police over allegations that between December 2016 and May 2017 he forged suitability certificates for the electrical installations of various buildings.

He has denied any involvement in the case.

Police investigators told the court that on March 25, 2017, the Paphos CID received a complaint from a 43-year-old electrician from Larnaca, who undertakes electrical installation studies for the purposes of securing building permits.

He claimed that on February 14, 2017, he received a phone call from an employee at EAC Paphos, who asked him to forward his licence from the state’s Electro-Mechanical Services to a Paphos fax number for record-keeping purposes.

He forgot to do so but received a reminder in the form of a text message on his mobile phone the next day.

Even though the text seemed strange to him, the electrician forwarded his licence to the required fax number.

Still concerned about the text, he later used the ‘show caller’ application to identify the sender of the text, who turned out to have been the suspect, whom he said he doesn’t know either personally or professionally.

After some digging, he said, he discovered a suitability certificate for an electrical installation stamped and signed ostensibly by him, which he realised had been forgeries.

He told police he never conducted any studies for the home in question, nor did he ever authorise anyone to use his seal or signature.

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