Police over the past couple of days have arrested several people and seized drugs and offensive weapons as part of a continuing crackdown on organised crime.
The most prominent arrest has been of a 30-year-old man detained in Paphos on suspicion of being a member of a crime ring. The man, according to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, had been wanted in connection with nine cases – five burglaries and thefts, a car bomb, car arson, and car theft.
The spokesman said the force’s action against organized crime is continuous and aimed at establishing a sense of security among the public.
Police launched the campaign earlier this month after an officer was critically injured during a shootout with underworld suspects who have since been arrested. The officer is recovering in Israel.
Angelides said that over the past 24 hours officers from various branches had carried out searches across the island and arrested 18 suspects.
In Nicosia, officers managed to find evidence linking a suspect currently in custody with two arson attacks against a shop and a car garage in 2016.
His car was also seized to undergo forensic examination.
A 25-year-old Nicosia man was also arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed a restaurant in the suburb of Latsia, Angelides said.
During vehicle searches, police arrested two drivers and one motorcycle rider in connection with possession of 7.5 grammes of cannabis, two clubs, and one knuckle duster with a 10cm switchblade. Officers also found out that the motorcycle in question had been declared immobilized in April last year.
In total, police searched 76 vehicles and 102 passengers, along with a number of nightclubs and their bouncers.
In Limassol, officers searched six houses and 11 other addresses and arrested nine people.
Two men were arrested after an unlicensed air pistol was found in their house, as well as a crossbow.
At a different address police found 23 grammes of cannabis and 41 grammes of methamphetamine and arrested four people.
In two other establishments, officers seized security cameras that were recording movement in a public space.
Fifty-three vehicles and 57 passengers were searched. In one car police found a small quantity of cannabis on the driver, a plastic pistol, various tools that could be used for burglaries, and a wig.
In Larnaca, police arrested three people, aged 30, 35, and 55, in connection with obstruction of justice.
The three are suspected of trying to convince a 40-year-old to withdraw a court case against the 30-year-old who faces charges relating to blackmail, threatening, theft, and abduction.