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Police watchdog to appoint investigator into arrest of footballer’s wife

The independent authority that investigates complaints against police is to appoint an investigator into the detention on Wednesday by two undercover officers of the wife of a Brazilian footballer who plays for Doxa in Nicosia as she was walking to school to pick up her child.

According to the head of the independent authority, Andreas Paschalides, they have already asked permission from the attorney-general to appoint an investigator into the incident. The AG is expected to grant permission within the day, Paschalides said.

Immigration officers detained on Wednesday the wife of Brazilian footballer Luís Carlos who plays for Doxa in Nicosia while she was walking to school to pick up her child, apparently because they thought she could be living on the island illegally.

The incident, according to SuperSportFM, took place in Engomi in the middle of the day and was recorded by onlookers using a mobile phone.

Paschalides said that the Brazilian embassy asked the independent authority to investigate the incident. Doxa FC also said they have filed a complaint with the authorities “to safeguard the rights of the player and his family”.

The head of the independent authority said that, as soon as they were informed of the incident, “we decided to exercise – and we have – our authorities given to us by the law for an ex officio investigation of the incident”.

In the video, taken by a bystander, two plain clothes police officers, one female, in an unmarked vehicle are seen intercepting the wife of Carlos and arresting her, apparently to confirm her ID.

The woman, who had been walking to the local primary school to pick up her child, had not been carrying her papers with her and was having trouble communicating as she did not speak any English, SuperSportFM said.

They said the woman was cuffed and driven around the area until they reached her home. Realising their gaffe, the officers then released the woman who went ahead and reported the incident to her embassy.

Later on Wednesday, police said the matter would be investigated.

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