Cyprus Mail
Crime

Police officers remanded in trafficking case

Three police officers and two others were remanded in custody for seven days on Wednesday in Nicosia in connection with people trafficking and corruption.

The suspects were arrested and brought before court on Tuesday but after a lengthy hearing, the judge decided to reserve judgement for the next day.

The three officers, aged 38, 41, and 31, are accused of receiving bribes to turn a blind eye while serving at passport control at the airport and let through women from third countries who were later employed at a bar in Nicosia.

Two other people, the owner of the bar, 36, and a 33-year-old woman, a third country national, were also arrested.

All three officers served at the immigration service though one of the was transferred to the attorney-general’s security detail in July.

The arrests followed a police raid at the Nicosia bar on August 1 where officers found four women from third countries who were later recognised as victims of trafficking.

Police told the court that the women were interviewed between August 2 and September 4 and carried out further investigations and surveillance up until Tuesday when they arrested the suspects.

The offences they are accused of were committed between the end of December last year and August.

The court heard that police would be interviewing some 50 people in connection with the case, 15 of whom were friends and relatives of the suspects.

Defence lawyers objected to the remand request, either arguing that eight days were excessive or that there was little or no evidence against their clients.

The court rejected their protestations and granted police a seven-day remand, taking into account that the suspects have already spent one day in detention.

 

 

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