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Larnaca official guilty of being on the take

Larnaca court

Larnaca municipal secretary, Lefteris Empedocles, 57, was found guilty on Friday of theft, obtaining money under false pretences and money laundering after taking €35,000 from a businessman to sort out building code infractions.

The mitigation plea was set for March 22. Empedocles is currently suspended.

The Larnaca Criminal Court found Empedocles guilty of theft, obtaining money under false pretences and money laundering in relation after taking in September 2015, €35,000 from businessman Theodosis Chrysostomou to sort out building code infractions in his premises in the area of Mackenzie in Larnaca, without, however, taking any action.

Empedocles was arrested in 2016 after Chrysostomou told police that he had paid the municipal secretary €35,000 in cash to correct building irregularities.

He had initially met with Larnaca mayor at the time Andreas Louroudjiatis, who suggested the businessman should pay €15,000.

A few days later, Chrysostomou met Empedocles, who apparently said that as the size of the establishment was quite large, the amount would actually be €35,000.

The businessman agreed and paid up but the money was never officially received by the municipality and no procedures were initiated to correct the irregularities.

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