Customs officials are allegedly embroiled in a ring illegally importing vehicles from the north and the finance minister will be briefed on the full scope of the allegations, Greens MP Yiorgos Perdikis charged on Monday.
The deputy had filed a question to Transport Minister Marios Demetriades on whether he was aware of complaints that concerned the illegal import of vehicles from the occupied territories.
Demetriades explained any registered vehicle had to be inspected by the road transport department with all the documentation. One such piece of evidence is the C.72A form, issued by the customs department that serves as proof the vehicle in question was imported to the republic from legal points of entry.
Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, also responding to the same question cited the green line regulations which outline vehicles from the north can temporarily cross over to the north for no longer than six months.
If the vehicles are not returned to the north then they are confiscated by the customs department, he added.
Though the practicality of this is another matter, Perdikis told the Cyprus Mail he was prompted to ask the ministers the question after receiving a complaint from a legal car importer in Cyprus selling used cars that there is a ring illegally importing vehicles from the north.
“The customs office is involved in this by issuing false documents,” Perdikis claimed on the basis of the complaint.
The deputy confirmed there was only the one complaint that reached him but his informant said he knew others that were aware of the situation.
“Once the holidays are over, I will collect all the evidence and send it to the minister (of finance),” Perdikis said.
The informant has not filed a report to police as he feels the evidence is not concrete enough and needs further investigation from the state to examine whether a criminal case them can be launched, Perdikis added.
“Especially since there might be state employees involved, it’s serious – if the complaint is found to be true,” Perdikis said.
“It could take months however.”