Cyprus Mail

Bases police raid illegal casino, charge two

British bases (SBA) authorities have charged the owner and the receptionist of an illegal casino in Ypsonas, Limassol, following a raid on Wednesday evening.

The pair are expected to appear before an SBA Court in Episkopi on February 21 after they were bailed on a combined total of €13,000 on Thursday.

The owner, whose bail was set at €10,000, was charged with operating an illegal casino after police raided the premises at 8.30 am and discovered the business operating inside.

His receptionist was charged with working in an illegal casino and for obstruction. SBA authorities said she was caught attempting to shut down the computers as the police closed in.

During the raid, officers at the scene confirmed approximately 84 computers used for gambling and €2,300 in cash was also seized.

A further 20 people have now been invited for interviews at the SBA Police station after they were found inside during the raid.

Speaking shortly after the initial bail hearing, Chief Inspector Panicos Panayi said there will no let-up in the SBA police’s efforts to eliminate illegal casinos within their jurisdiction.

“This remains one of our force’s priorities and we will continue to enter these premises, make arrests and seize what we find inside,” he said.

SBA Police have been cracking down on illegal gambling in recent years and despite Cyprus now having a licensed casino operating in Limassol, the problem still persists on the island.

According to the Panayi, SBA Police are making huge inroads into eradicating the problem.

“There are of course still attractions to some people for gambling within this type of illegal casino, but we are gradually closing all of them down now and by making multiple arrests, which lead to successful prosecutions, we are confident that this will act as a strong enough deterrent to those taking part.”


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